According to Gruber's sources, Apple filed a bug on the iPhone 4 antenna issues two whole years ago. So why did they launch such a poor excuse for a communication device? Does Mark Papermaster's departure have anything to do with it?
Gruber wrote in a recent blog post that "there was plenty of time to find a solution to the problem" if Apple knew about the loss of signal so far back. In fact, Papermaster joined Apple two years ago - in November 2008, when he joined from IBM to head up the iPod and iPhone engineering team as their Senior Vice President of Devices Hardware Engineering.
Speculating that things turned sour long before he was given the boot last week (or, to take a stab at Apple's official line, left off his own accord), the Wall Street Journal has this interesting tidbit to say about Papermaster:
"Mr. Papermaster had lost the confidence of Mr. Jobs months ago and hasn't been part of the decision-making process for some time, these people said."
Plus, the fact that he didn't appear on stage at the iPhone 4 free bumper keynote, nor in the iPhone 4 video from several months back, does lend certain credence to the notion that things have not been rosy between Papermaster and Apple for some time now - considering Bob Mansfield, Head of Mac Hardware Engineering, made the appearance himself, despite Papermaster being the lead exec of that unit and better equipped to talk about the iPhone 4 engineering process. [Daring Fireball]