Acknowledging that there is a problem with the iPhone 4's antenna design, Apple today said it would offer free cases for the phone to mitigate against signal loss  when the device is held in a certain way.

In a news conference at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, CA, CEO Steve Jobs reiterated the company's earlier claim that all smartphones have similar problems, and that "no one has solved this problem."
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Jobs said the company's engineers have been "working our butts off so we can come up with real solutions" to the antenna issue, and are continuing to do so. In the meantime, Apple will offer a free case to all customers who've purchased an iPhone 4 since its introduction on June 24th. "We're going to send you a free case. We can't make enough Bumpers. So we're going to source some cases and give you a choice."

In recent tests, sparked by consumer complaints, Consumer Reports confirmed the iPhone 4's signal-loss problem, and also determined that the Bumper is able to alleviate the issue.

Apple will also offer refunds to customers who have already bought the Bumper, Apple's only case for the iPhone 4. Those who have already bought third-party cases are not assured of a refund, though Jobs said those who did want their money back can write to Apple and "we'll consider the request."

Jobs said that free cases would be available on the Apple website by the end of next week, to all customers who purchase iPhones prior to September 30th. After that date, he said the company would "reevaluate" the issue. "Maybe we'll have a better idea," he said.

While Jobs acknowledged the signal loss problem caused when users touch a specific area of the phone's external antenna array, he said that it affects "a very small number of users," and that the issue can be avoided by not touching the phone in that area.

Consumer Reports believes Apple's offer of free cases is a good first step. However, Apple has indicated that this is not a long-term solution, it has guaranteed the offer only through September 30th, and has not extended it unequivocally to customers who bought cases from third-party vendors. We look forward to a long-term fix from Apple. As things currently stand, the iPhone 4 is still not one of our Recommended models.

Apple Inc said on Monday that it had sold 1.7 million iPhone 4 phones through Saturday June 26, three days after it kicked of store sales of the devices, making for its most successful launch yet.

In a statement, Chief Executive Steve Jobs (left) apologized to "customers who were turned away" because the company did not have enough supply. Read More
"This is the most successful product launch in Apple's history," Jobs said.

Apple did not say whether the figure included pre-orders made on the company's website and in stores before the phone's official June 24 store launch.

AT&T Inc is the exclusive US provider for iPhone.
From Reuters

World's largest mobile handset maker Nokia, announced the launch of its first smartphone based on the eagerly awaited Symbian 3 operating system.
The Nokia N8 is estimated to cost around EUR370 and will be available in selected markets from the third quarter of this year.

According to analysts, Finland-based company is facing fierce competition in the profitable high-end market segment from Apple Inc's (AAPL) iPhone and Research in Motion's (RIMM) Blackberry, while at the same time there is an intensifying battle between different mobile operating systems. In order to fight rival systems such as Google Inc's (GOOG) Android, Read More Nokia has upgraded its key Symbian smartphone platform to make it slicker and more user-friendly, but device launches built on the new system have so far been delayed due to quality issues.

The Nokia N8 smartphone will include:-

  • - 12 megapixel camera.

 

  • - Provide users with the ability to make and edit HD-quality video clips.

 

  • - Access to Web TV services.


It said it will also offer a range of social networking features and the Ovi Maps navigation service, and will be integrated with Qt, a software development environment that makes it easier to build mobile applications.

The Symbian 3 operating system supports features such as:-

  • - multi-touch.

 

  • - flick scrolling

 

  • - and pinch-zoom, a faster and more responsive user interface and faster multi-tasking.


The N8 will have to offer good usability compared with rivals such as the iPhone and Android-based handsets in order to generate substantial sales, said analyst Jari Honko at Swedbank, but the EUR370 estimated retail price looks attractive compared to rival phones, he said.



The world's Software giant "Microsoft" on Tuesday announced its first mobile handset Kin, designed specifically for users who are actively accessing social networking sites.
The Kin handsets, which would be available in two models, -- Kin One and Kin Two -- are designed for consumers who want access to social networking sites and videos from their mobile phones. Read More
Both phones are touch screen, have slide-out keyboard and based on mobile software platform Windows Mobile.

Brought to life through partnerships with Verizon Wireless, Vodafone and Sharp Corporation, KIN is designed to be the ultimate social experience that blends the phone, online services and the PC with breakthrough new experiences called the Loop, Spot and Studio.


Kin One is small and compact and having five megapixel camera, while Two has a larger screen and keyboard, more memory, a higher resolution camera of 8 megapixel and the ability to record high-definition video.

According to Robbie Bach Microsoft President, Entertainment and Devices Division, "We built Kin for people who live to be connected, share, express and relate to their friends and family. This social generation wants and needs more from their phone,"

The Kin handsets are made by Japan's Sharp Corp and would be sold by Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc and Vodafone Group Plc.

The phone is expected to be available in the US from May and in European countries like Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK from this autumn.

VTech® Communications, Inc., yesterday announced its first two-line phone with DECT 6.0 technology. Available now for just $79.95, the DS6151 is the most affordable system of its kind, making it ideal for busy households and small businesses.

Read More According to senior vice president, product management, VTech Communications, Matt Ramage  "This phone solution is great for people working at home, families that need separate lines or consumers who still use dial-up Internet service."
He continued that its smart design elements and budget-friendly price, the DS6151 is a new breed of two-line home communication.

The phone is based on DECT 6.0 technology, the feature-rich and expandable VTech DS6151 offers superior sound quality, range and interference-free calls. As a two-line system priced at nearly half the cost of similarly-featured phones, the DS6151 is perfect for small businesses as well as for homes using dial-up Internet service or to provide separate lines for different family members.

Additionally, the system includes a digital answering machine with a dedicated mailbox for each line. As a result, users have peace-of-mind that their calls with family, friends or business associates are secure, and can enjoy smoother, more organized communication.