Some of our observant readers have noted that the Apple web site is no longer showing videos of competing cell phones dropping bars and signal when held in a 'death grip' like the one made infamous on the new iPhone 4.
CNET got a comment from Apple PR on the change: "We constantly refresh the content on Apple.com. If you'd like access to [the videos], you can find them archived on YouTube.com/Apple." [Never mind the irony that in order to see Apple's competitive marketing efforts, you go to a Google-owned site. –Ed.]
Was Apple frightened off, perhaps by potential law suits, or did the campaign run its course? I'd be betting on the latter. I think Apple accomplished what it wanted to, by raising awareness of reception issues on other smart phones. Apple resorted to the tests only after Nokia, Motorola and others criticized the Apple design either in public statements or in ads.
On the other hand, there is no doubt that some people were seeing the issue, while others reported that everything was just fine. Some of our readers told us their Blackberry, Nokia and Motorola phones had problems just like what was shown in the Apple videos, while others said they could not duplicate it.
The competitor tests Apple posted to YouTube are still there, but it's probably safe to say that Apple is now out of the antenna testing business, at least for cell phones the company doesn't make.
Thanks to our sharp-eyed readers who noticed the change on the Apple web site.