Apple pulled off an amazing trick during its iPhone 4 press conference, which was to shift focus from the “death-touch” antenna problem plaguing the iPhone 4, to the “death-grip” antenna problems that are faced by the entire industry.

Apple managed to put down the increasingly negative reviews that were coming in and stop further damage. Steve Jobs even seemed relatively relaxed and casually called the point of the antenna problem “X-marks the spot”. Soon after the conference, Apple released test results depicting signal loss problems with RIM’s Blackberry, HTC’s Droid and Samsung’s Omnia 2. Thus, making the case that the signal problem is not isolated to Apple phones.

Industry watchers were amazed by the manner in which Apple out maneuvered its rivals and so effectively presented the signal loss problems as a problem faced by the wider industry. It is common knowledge that rival phones also suffer from signal loss problems but by denying the problem, rival manufacturers virtually guaranteed wider scrutiny and an outburst in YouTube videos contradicting their claims.

HTC, one of the manufacturers singled out by Apple claimed that it didn’t receive many reports of signal loss. However, as David Chartier pointed out, HTC, which labels many of its phones under the Verizon label, did not mention if the reported complaints include Verizon complaints as well. Interestingly even Apple mentioned AT&T recall numbers and not overall Apple recall numbers.