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Thursday, December 02, 2010, 07:55 pm PT (10:55 pm ET)

HTC echoes Apple in defense of HD7 'death grip' issue

Using language reminiscent of Apple's stance on the iPhone 4 antenna problem, Taiwanese handset maker HTC issued a statement Thursday defending its Windows Phone 7 HD7 smartphone from criticisms that it suffers from weakened signal strength when gripped.

HTC published the statement in response to YouTube videos that depict the newly released HD7 handset losing signal strength when gripped, Computer Weekly reports.

"Quality in industrial design is of key importance to HTC. To ensure the best possible signal strength, antennas are placed in the area least likely to be covered by a person's face or hands while the phone is in use," the statement read.

"However, it is inevitable that a phone's signal strength will weaken a little when covered in its entirety by a user's palm or fingers. We test all of our phones extensively and are confident that under normal circumstances reception strength and performance will be more than sufficient for the operation of the phone when network coverage is also adequate," the statement continued.

Apple found itself the center of a similar controversy this summer after the media picked up reports that the iPhone 4 suffered from a loss of reception when held at the bottom left corner. Dubbed "Antennagate," the controversy came to a head when Consumer Reports rescinded its recommendation of the iPhone 4.

During a July press conference addressing the issue, Apple CEO Steve Jobs called the issue "a challenge for the entire industry," saying that "every phone has weak spots." Jobs then highlighted handsets from other companies, including HTC, that also experience similar antenna issues.

Apple subsequently added a new section to its website, informing consumers of potential signal loss on the iPhone 4. In addition to the iPhone, smartphones from several other makers were highlighted as well, though the references to competitors' phones were eventually removed.

HTC quickly responded, objecting to being specifically called out by Jobs. "The reception problems are certainly not common among smartphones," said HTC Chief Financial Officer Hui-Meng Cheng.