The picture above shows a BlackBerry Pearl 9100 with a band around the phone and a hole cut out around the internal antenna. Evidently, RIM has several of these being used around its Canadian Headquarters. To me, it looks like a little MacGyver trick. But why would RIM be working on an external antenna device? History shows that their antenna design is already superior to others. But it would be interesting if they could also create the perfect exterior antenna design.
Given the recent complaints over the iPhone 4G newly designed antenna, and the public accusation from Steve Jobs, that BlackBerry phones also suffer from the "death grip" syndrome, it should be of no surprise that RIM would try to successfully make a properly designed external antenna. In reply to Apple's accusation, RIM’s co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis stated that " RIM is a global leader in antenna design and has been successfully designing industry-leading wireless data products with efficient and effective radio performance for over 20 years. During that time, RIM has avoided designs like the one Apple used in the iPhone 4 and instead has used innovative designs which reduce the risk for dropped calls, especially in areas of lower coverage."
The question is, then, what would be the benefits of an external antenna device? Is it worth the effort? Is RIM trying to prove something? Let us know what you think!