Apple can try to spin the media anyway it wants, but the reality is the iPhone 4 “Antennagate” is one of the biggest PR fumbles in the company’s history. It was inevitable that heads would roll over the issue, and it appears as though Mark Papermaster will be the first Apple employee voted off the island. My money was on the guy who left the prototype iPhone 4 in a bar, but hey, you win a few you lose a few right?
Papermaster was poached from IBM back in late 2008 to help oversee iPhone design and engineering, but his legal battle with IBM over a non-compete clause only settled in mid April 2009. In hindsight I’m guessing Apple would say he probably wasn’t worth all the effort, but he must have had a mighty impressive resume to justify all the legal trouble. We have no idea what role Papermaster actually played in the decision to put the antenna in the band, but clearly he is going to take the fall for it none the less. We are willing to guess Steve Job’s career was never in any jeopardy over this one.
Bob Mansfield, senior vice president of Mac hardware engineering is slated to take up the iPhone flag and it will be interesting to see where the antenna ends up under his leadership. Here’s a hint for you Bobby, pick somewhere your hand doesn’t go when you grip the phone normally.