So yeah, news all around are that Mark Papermaster, Apple’s SVP of hardware engineering, simply left Cupertino a couple of days ago with no specifics on the departure. Sure everybody points this toward the whole “antennagate” mess, but,.. it seems this is not really the problem, or not it entirely. WSJ’s own Yukari Iwatani Kane, the person Apple usually prefers to talk to when it needs media control on a subject, just wrote an article about it, and it does shed some additional light on the reasons.
First of all, it seems “antennagate” (I think I’ll call it iGate for short from now on) is not really Mark’s fault. According to the article:
“It was Mr. Jobs, rather than Mr. Papermaster, who decided to move forward with the development of the phone even though the company was aware of the risks of the antenna design as much as a year ago, according to people familiar with the matter.”
We know Marks job was to be in charge of hardware engineering, but this former IBM executive wasn’t really that trusted by Jobs, so it seems he was really relegated in this whole process. How do we know? Well, another part of the article states:
“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. They added that Mr. Papermaster didn’t appear to have the type of creative thinking expected at Apple and wasn’t used to Apple’s corporate culture, where even senior executives are expected to keep on top of the smallest details of their areas of responsibility and often have to handle many tasks directly, as opposed to delegating them.”
So yeah, there is a fired VP, and we could assume the guy chose to leave because his reputation is on the line with this whole mess, but rumors are he got fired because he was struggling with couple of things. One was coping with Apple’s culture in being on top of things, which we could consider led to the second issue, related to the production needed to get those iPhones in our hands on time. The Apple Store currently has a three week wait for your device to ship and we know Steve didn’t like standing up in front of everybody stating we’d get the white iPhone 4 last month and be mistaken.
Resigned or fired, who cares. The thing is “iGate” is really not to blame. It seems reality proves Jobs had the opportunity to choose to continue with the project or end it a year ago, and he chose to give us a phone with a problem. Mark was actually hired during Steve’s leave of absence, so I guess the whole deal was that Stevo didn’t like him and found the perfect excuse to get rid of him. I wonder if this means we’ll get the white iPhone 4 earlier.. Hmm.. I wouldn’t hold my breath on it..