WSJ: Apple lost confidence in Papermaster months ago, Jobs accepted iPhone 4 antenna risks

We may never know the truth about the ousting of Mark Papermaster, Apple's VP in charge of the iPhone and a direct report to Steve Jobs. However, a report in the Wall Street Journal co-authored by Yukari Iwatani Kane -- widely considered to be Apple's favorite go-to source when it wants to control a story in the press -- is as close as we're likely ever going to get, from Apple's perspective anyway. Citing several anonymous sources familiar with Papermaster's downfall, the WSJ says the following:

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.

In other words, it wasn't just about the iPhone 4's antenna. In fact, the WSJ claims that Jobs knew about the risks of the antenna design as much as a year ago and it was his decision, not Papermaster's, to move forward with its development. Whatever the real story is, we're sure that Steve, visibly agitated at having to host an antennagate press conference, wasn't too pleased at having stood in front of the media promising an "end of July" ship date for the already delayed white iPhone 4 only to delay it again just a few days later. Straw, meet camel.