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Apple SVP of Device Hardware Leaves Apple After iPhone 4 Problems

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This week, Apple made an unexpected move and confirmed that Senior VP of Device Hardware Engineering Mark Papermaster has left Apple after being with the company for less than two years.

At this time, it is unknown whether Papermaster left voluntarily or if he was forced out. In the mean time, Mac hardware engineering Senior VP Bob Mansfield will take over Papermaster’s responsibilities.

What makes this situation interesting is that Apple spent considerable time and resources attempting to lure Papermaster to Apple from IBM. The efforts now seem to have been in vain.

Current rumors have indicated that Papermaster left Apple due to his oversight on the iPhone 4 antenna. While the external antenna is a unique design, many iPhone 4 users have noted its sensitivity to signal degradation when the antenna is covered by a hand or finger.

To control some of the negative PR that came from the antenna problem, Apple has issued new firmware and also started a free case program where iPhone 4 owners can choose one case for free from a small selection via an app from the App Store.

The case program, while great for iPhone 4 owners, has been costly to Apple.

To shed additional light on the situation, Daring Fireball further reports that Papermaster was actually fired over the antenna issue, as the Apple executive was internally nicknamed “the guy responsible for the antenna.”

[Electronista]

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  • Xetal

    Apple common put the blame on me ! The phone still has antenna problems. They can fire the entire company and it wont change a damn thing.

    The end results are the same. Unless they issue a recall, for us customers nothing change.

    I have a hard time understanding people driving around and doing lineup for hours to buy an expensive failure as the iphone 4 is !

  • Guest

    Owned my iphone 4 for a week. Dropped my first call yesterday! No death grip needed.. The old pinky covering the black line routine!! It makes me sick that apple is posting video after video of death gripping the competition!! All you need is half a fucking pinky finger!! Someone should remake all those videos and attempt to drop a call while touching the devices with one finger.. Guaranteed only the iPhone 4 will do that!

  • windows7heartsiphone

    Dude, quit complaining and cut off your pinky finger. You gotta fit the phone not the other way around. Seriously, I was really looking forward to upgrading my 3G to this one…Guess this is where I jump on the Android band wagon. We had a good run me and my iPhone.

  • BLUE

    You Don't have an iPhone

  • BLUE

    It's so obvious you don't have an iPhone and have not used one. Enjoy your blackberry

  • yvrgal

    Ha ha ha ha! :-))

  • NoiPhone4ProblemsHere

    That's funny. Apple pulled those videos down, so they aren't still posting them. But my guess is you don't even own an iPhone 4.

  • RelaxAndTestItYourself

    Have a nice trip. But like everyone I know who left for Android, you'll be back.
    Oh, and the iPhone 4 works really well. This whole antenna issue is getting over blown.
    Yes, you can drop signal in certain low signal areas, but in real use, it rarely if ever affects the call.

  • Spkphotos

    How is it a failure? The phone works great. I've had it over a week and have yet to have any problems. It's the same experience with family and friends who bought one. No problems.
    Yes, if you death grip it, sure, the signal bars can go down. But it real use, we aren't death gripping it. And even when I cover the spot while calling, I have yet to drop a call or have any problems. This is the same experience again for everyone I know that has the iPhone 4.
    So you tell me, why is the iPhone 4 a fail? Did the 20 people I know just get lucky and get perfect phones? Please explain why it's a fail.

  • If you buy a PC laptop and place it on your bed, Covering the fans at the bottom. The system often over heats on high process activities. Would you issue a massive recall and label it a failure? nope… yet almost all of them do it. in the electronic world there is a right way, and a wrong way to use every object. if you cant figure that out, you might need to step back a bit and go back to your old Nokia flip Phone

  • unlogik

    What a f'in joke. The iPhone 4 is one of the best devices I have ever owned and they are going to fire the Senior Engineer?

    Come on Apple, just because AT&T's network is garbage doesn't mean this guy needs to get axed.

  • Epgomez

    I still have yet to see for myself if the antennae problem is real. I'm waiting for fido to have stock and I can buy it for only $75 dollars. If I experience that the problem is really real then either the people who bought it are real idiots and morons or don't need good phone calls are a necessity. I know the iphone 3G drops calls because I had ir back then. No idiot can convince me otherwise…

  • (Confused)

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding. Are you saying that you are planning to buy it when in stock, and then if you determine the problem is real (by buying it and trying it yourself) then everyone that bought it in the first place is stupid?

    This logic is blowing my mind if I understood it right, but I admit, I might be misunderstanding what you are saying.

  • Turtle

    My iphone 4 in downtown vancouver (where i live) doesnt even drop bars when death gripped. All of my friends instantly tried to replicate the problem and failed. The annoying part is they just think I got lucky with a good one. Open your eyes people! AT&T has a terrible network and it simply gave already spoiled americans a chance to bitch about something else. The problem is overblown

  • win7heartsiphone

    That's what I'm afraid of :-D. Buying a completely different phone and hating it.

  • Jhubs

    Sure does look like he is calling himself an “idiot and a moron” or he just doesn't need the phone to make phone calls. Don't be so hard on yourself man it's hard to resist the iPhone.

  • Clark

    They pulled the videos down because it just made them look worse which the finally figured out. Apple made a mistake but it doesn't even matter. The phone is still selling like crazy everywhere. Everyone wins, except the people who have a phone with the antenna issue.

  • MrRage

    I agree, I have tried to replicate this problem. Yes on a good day I can get it to drop 2 bars but it does not affect anything. I think AT&T's network is as bed as everyone says it is.

  • CapeMac

    People these days right. Everyone knows you aren't supposed to hold your iPhone when making a phone call. Jeez!

  • Lol or be smart enough to position your hand slightly different. Like
    not resting your pinky on that line. If that's to hard return it. Or
    invest in a case.

  • Chrome262

    I wouldn't call them spoiled when they have only one network, and we have what 5, 6. And your spoiled dude i haven't been able to find the phone, hate you. lol. The antennae problem, i was recreating it in the apple store with the display phones, not all of them had it, but it was there. Now with Rogers, it never dropped the call. It is over blown, seriously there are other issues, that 4.1 will address. Will 6.0 and the 9800 save black berry, maybe. Will it have issues, that only 6.1 will solve, most definitely, this is the way new hardware works. Remember the Storm and all its issues, it works great now, but they did have to come out with the storm 2. Did all the issues with the Storm result in firings, not sure, but i bet it did.

  • Yeah.. People keep focusing on this minor antenna issue, knock the
    iPhone for it. But I think they forget everything the i4 has to offer.

  • Xetal

    Dude this is common sense. I do hold my phone the death grip way. I always did and im not the only one. Now if you want to buy a FAIL piece of electronic and patch your brain with stupid laptop examples like you obviously can think about. Good for you. I had dozen of phones in my life and i currently own the old Iphone 3G. Yeah i need a replacement but guess what. Im willing to skip the hype and wait for the next Iphone 4S or whatever it's called… Guess what yes it will have an updated antenna ! For what reason ? You know it !

  • CapeMac

    Haha I know, but I still hope the one I get doesn't have the problem. I had to order one online because Bell wouldn't let me do an early upgrade. Oh well I'll get the unlocked one use it for the rest of my contract and then sell it for the iPhone 4Wai (Without Antenna Issue) I know that one was reaching 😉

  • Feel better? i honestly dont really suffer from the “death grip” as bad as other people do. its really only an issue at low level reception. this whole laptop deal was to just explain it in a different way. by your words sounds like you dont own an i4. the minor flaw is a small measure of what this phone can offer on flip side. thats all i was really getting at

    Oh.. if you wish to reply with more ignorance feel free… but only if it makes yourself feel better ok? ^_^ thanks for your input.

  • haha we all can hope. We all want the BEST model, and i would too 😛 i suffer from the antenna issue slightly . i only drop like 2 bars, and so did my 3Gs before i upgraded. im sure others suffer more then some of us, but on a real level EVERYONE i know with a 3G or 3Gs Uses a case because they dont want to scratch the crap out of the back… so i fail to see the big issue with people needing a case now? chances are a large number of these people would have invested in a case 1 way or another ^_~

    haha in any case this iphone 4 has incredible features. im not going to allow a minor issue ruin my experience. 😀

  • Anyone else tired of people knocking the iphone 4 and its “Death grip” seems the ones knocking it the most are the ones who dont own one…. what you all think?

  • Spkphotos

    So you grip your phone so tight your knuckles turn white all the time? Gimme a break. Give your head a shake. Have you used the iPhone 4? My guess, no. Stop complaining about something you know nothing about.

  • iPhone4crazy

    I do own an iPhone 4 and I do suffer from signal loss when gripping it normally and I have done speed tests to prove it. Now I have to wait for September 13 to get my case. I think I will order an otter box defender for work(I work in construction) and use my apple bumper for going out (it's almost like wearing shoes) but until I get my case I suffer the occasional dropped call and slow page loads. For the most part I have managed to avoid that corner.

    I think apple was wrong to let the SVP of hardware go, why not let your engineers go too, or your product testers, you said in the July 16 press conference you knew about the issue. So if you knew about it why fire the hardware guy? Is it really worth firing the guy who created the hardware for the best selling iPhone? Stupid really.

  • CapeMac

    When a company is successful your going to get a lot of haters. Most people who bash the iPhone 4 are usually users of other phones like Droid and Windows Mobile. I know I make fun of the antenna issue but I'm not really bashing it, but I mean it's pretty funny that such a little problem caused so much news for a while there. In any case your going to get fanboys for everything, you just have to ignore it. My $0.02 anyways

  • Juvanda

    I have the phone here…and with the death grip…it dropped from full bar to only one bar left…it happened within 30 seconds…it is not a minor issue.
    It is a real shame. Other than this issue, it is such a great solid phone. But this issue exists and it is not minor. When signals are low, such as in basement, the phone loses all signal.

  • Hmm. Thats a shame. It exists for me, but not nearly as bad as you
    describe. Well I hope your one of the ones who don't mind using a case
    heh ^_~

  • Don

    More like enjoy his Android phone. Android fanboys are the worst. Visit any Android video on Youtube or even iPhone videos, hell even the comparisson video's between them and you will see an abundance of Android fanboys acting like thier a cat in heat. I know Apple has fanboys as well, but they can't compare with the Android crowd those people are ruthless.

  • Looking to Upgrade

    One drop call in 4 weeks, were to able to replicate the drop call with your pinky again?

  • Juvanda

    It is such a shame. It is more painful that I am signing 3 yrs with fido to get it (although with retention plans and fido dollars..its an awsome deal). It is very likely i will be selling the phone after half a year. Hopefully Apple wont decide to fix the issue quietly.

  • LK

    You had it for a week so you knew about the issue before it was released in Canada, right ? Then why still buy it ?

  • bR

    Even with the issue, I am sure the pros is still better otherwise ppl won't be buying it, it is not cheap and ppl are not dumb. Just like the x360, ppl know it's red-ring issue, still buy it after replacing a broken one, thousands complaint about it but millions still buy it, ha.

  • Mr. Speedy

    Just a clarification: we don't have 5 or 6 networks. Carriers, yes 5 or 6. Networks? We have 2 — The Rogers network and the Bellus network. Big difference!

  • Mike

    My old Blackberry had more problems with attenuation than my 4.

  • StillNotAniPhoneOwner

    I read elsewhere – I think MacRumors – that there was a controversy in him even coming to Apple (he came from IBM), because when he started, IBM complained that he breached a contract by going to work for the competition and he actually had to stop working @ Apple until it got cleared up.

    Controversy just follows this guy….?

  • Who knows. It's hard to believe what you read online sometimes I mean
    bill cosby has died like 4 times already lol by the time news reaches
    us normal folk it's been twisted, and hyped up so blogs n news
    broadcasters can get the biggest punch. The real truth will expose it
    self in a week or 2 I'm sure. Right now it's basically finding the
    ball under 5 different cups lol

  • StillNotAniPhoneOwner

    It's true… Betty White has apparently died ten times already if we're keeping track. Ha.

    I find MacRumors to be pretty reliable though. Daring Fireball hasn't given me any misinformation (yet) and they're saying he did get fired over anteannagate.. BUT.. we'll see. Or not, we may never know since Apple may never mention this guy again.

  • Jake

    Obviously you don't have an iPhone 4. The number of bars on my phone never drops, I even tried doing the death grip on it. I can't replicate the same problem on my iPhone, people like you blow these issues out of proportion.

  • Red Star

    Am I missing something here? Did Consumers Reports not find there is an issue with the antenna on the iPhone 4 through controlled testing? Isn't the primary function of the iPhone making phone calls? Why is Apple giving free bumpers and cases to iPhone 4 owners? Is it because they don't like huge profits? Hmmm, I wonder.

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