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RIM and Nokia hit back at Apple's defence of iPhone 4

The mobile phone industry has hit out at Apple's attempt to claim that the reception problems afflicting its new iPhone are an industry-wide phenomenon.

Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, has invoked the wrath of mobile phone heavyweights Nokia and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) over claims that the antenna problem affecting the iPhone 4 is "a challenge for the whole industry".

During a press conference at Apple's Californian headquarters on Friday, Mr Jobs attempted to highlight the reception deficiencies of phones made by RIM, Samsung, HTC and Nokia.

However, RIM's co-chief executives Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsille said over the weekend: "Apple's attempt to draw RIM into Apple's self-made debacle is unacceptable.

"Apple's claims about RIM products appear to be deliberate attempts to distort the public's understanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple's difficult situation."

Mr Jobs has apologised to disgruntled Apple customers and promised to give away a free case with every iPhone 4 sold until September.

The RIM executives added: "One thing is for certain, RIM's customers don't need to use a case for their BlackBerry to maintain proper connectivity."

Nokia has also launched a strident defence of its phones. The company said: "We prioritise antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict."

© Telegraph.co.uk