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A CDMA iPhone is reportedly being produced by new Taiwanese supplier Pegatron and will launch on the Verizon network during the holiday season.  (Source: Phonedog)

In other news the iPhone's hardware chief, Mark Papermaster, has reportedly been fired. It's unclear whether his imposed exodus from Apple was in part due to antennagate or if something else was afoot.  (Source: Edible Apple)
Change is in the air for the Apple iPhone

Need proof that iPhone exclusivity in the U.S. is about to go the way of the dodo?  Look no further than second place U.S. wireless carrier AT&T's U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing which assures investors that sales will continue strong even "as these exclusivity arrangements end."  To help remove any ambiguity of what it might be talking about, the report goes on to state, "We believe offering a wide variety of handsets reduces dependence on any single handset."

Apple appears on the verge of finally embracing multiple carriers within the U.S., adopting the approach that, in part, allowed Android to surge ahead of it in the U.S. smartphone market.  

But to jump to the number one and number three carriers in the U.S., Verizon and Sprint, Apple must first produce a CDMA-capable iPhone (the current iPhone works on GSM, a rival technology). 

According to a June report from 
Digitimes, Apple has a CDMA iPhone 4 designed and tested.  What's more, reportedly the company is ditching troubled supplier Foxconn, instead awarding the CDMA iPhone 4 manufacturing contract to Taiwanese-owned rival Pegatron (to be fair, if this holds true, it may merely be because Foxconn does not currently have the additional capacity to handle the contract).

The phone reportedly will ship in Q4 2010 -- just in time for the holiday season.  
Bloomberg also previously reported that a CDMA iPhone is on its way, jumping to Verizon and possibly Sprint.  Another report indicates that T-Mobile will officially pick up the iPhone, as well, which currently is only available to customers who jailbreak and unlock iPhones.

A jump to the rest of America's top carriers -- including the nation's largest carrier, Verizon -- could yield a massive surge in iPhone subscribers and big profits for Apple and its new wireless partners alike.  If Apple can get its antenna problems under control, that is.

Speaking of the iPhone hardware, it appears that Mark Papermaster has seen the last of his days in Cupertino.  The top executive, who came to Apple after a fierce legal battle with former employer IBM over his contract, has reportedly been canned.

The news was first reported by 
The New York Times.

Apple insider John Gruber, who runs the blog 
Daring Fireball, first suggests that Papermaster was released for the iPhone 4 antenna debacle, writing:

From what I’ve heard, it’s clear he was sacked. Papermaster was a conspicuous absence at the Antennagate press conference. Inside Apple, he’s “the guy responsible for the antenna” — that’s a quote from a source back on July 23.

But then seems to recant, posting the next day:

Does Apple have a “make one mistake and you’re fired” policy? No. But, if the mistake is big enough, sometimes yes. But I don’t even know whether the iPhone 4 antenna is the only thing that led to Papermaster’s sacking.
...It’s Mansfield, not Papermaster, who appears in Apple’s six-minute iPhone 4 promotional video — and that video was shot weeks (months?) before the iPhone 4 was unveiled....
But maybe Papermaster was already on the outs, and Mansfield was already overseeing the engineering of things like the Retina Display and the A4.
One last tidbit from an informed source: the bug on the “touching it wrong” signal loss issue was filed two years ago. This is not a problem they didn’t catch, or caught too late. So, on the one hand, clearly the fundamental antenna design predated Papermaster’s time at the company. But on the other hand, there was plenty of time to find a solution to the problem. I.e., it’s not that Apple should not have used an external antenna. It’s that it should have been even better.

Of numerous Apple-centric writers, Gruber has some of the best inside access to Apple, so if he doesn't know exactly why Papermaster is sacked, it's clear that just about no one does.  One thing's clear, though -- the iPad/iPhone/iPod hardware team is moving on and Papermaster isn't part of that process.

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RE: Papermaster just the fall guy...
By allometry on 8/9/2010 12:41:56 AM , Rating: 2
I think they were hopping the antenna issue wouldn't be as big as it was made out to be. I've continued to remain relatively skeptical on the whole antenna issue myself, because I haven't been able to duplicate the issue.

But, let's have some fun. I'll play the devils advocate...

Apple has rightfully denied that there is any issue with the device. You have to think like you're running the company to understand it. Admit you have a major flaw with your latest-and-greatest-release and your stock takes a dive.

Jobs is in the position he's in to make sure that doesn't happen. He's good at making sure it doesn't happen. The issue goes to print and gets blown way out of proportion and it's time for some damage control.

Someone is going to take the fall for this issue and it sure as hell isn't going to be Jobs or the entire engineering staff. Papermaster was fresh blood, had his chance and I'm betting the board had a nice chat with him about being well compensated for falling on the sword and keeping his mouth shut.

Meanwhile, Apple gets on stage to appease the masses and shutdown the presses. They offer up bumpers for free and refunds for existing purchases. They also welcome back phones for full refunds. More than enough to make sure that any further negative press gets difficult to write.

From all of this, what have we seen? Continued rise in sales, a demand that's almost impossible to meet and a nice, comfortable stock price. In terms of satisfying the needs of their stakeholders, what has Apple done wrong?

You say money, I say spin. Apple has a great way of spinning the news to always make them look like heros.

By dark matter on 8/9/2010 2:57:13 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe, but you only get to play the wildcard once. And trust me, the flaw is easy to replicate.

If Jobs really did push through the design against the wishes or others more knowledgeable than him, and then forced someone out of a job due to it, well, that kind of damage will not become apparent until later on. But rest assured this will create issues down the line.

Consider this, you're the best in your field and you get a call from Apple. Given the rumours about Papermaster and given the rumours about Jobs, would you really go with them knowing the head boss refuses to listen and when things go wrong because of his ego and inability to listen it will be you carrying the can!

Sure Jobs may have secured a short term victory here, but long term he has caused a considerable amount of damage. Apples stock price is as high as it can be and everyone will be looking at Apples next release with an air of caution that wasn't there previously and by the time they do another release the competition around them will be fiercer than ever. Just the time the need the best designers and engineers they can get, but as I said earlier, are the best really going to go somewhere to be ignored and then blamed?

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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