By Dennis Kneale, CNBC Tech & Media Editor
Gettin' an awful lot of name-calling outrage online the past few days for my supposedly tough stance on Apple ( AAPL) and Antennagate. The iPhone devotees say I'm biased, I'm clueless, I'm an Apple-basher. "Do you not grasp the concept that the 'flaw' is no worse than any other phone, including previous iPhones?" one Twitter guy harangued. It's hard to argue in 140-character bitstreams, y'know? So herewith, some key points in this whole brouhaha:
- I love Apple products. I use an Apple laptop and just bought one for my young daughter. I have purchased over a dozen iPods. This isn't about love -- this is about whether Apple screwed up, and then screwed up even worse in its handling of the original screw-up. This flap ultimately won't depress Apple stock for long, it won't even hurt sales of the iPhone 4. Not to worry, right? At stake, though, are two things that may be as important: Apple's reputation as the best marketer in the world and as a designer of "insanely great" stuff; and Apple's credibility as a company that tells the truth. It's fitting this is called Antennagate, because in the original "gate" -- Watergate -- the same two critical questions emerged: What did you know, and when did you know it?
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Whom should we believe -- Apple? Or Bloomberg, a buttoned-down, inordinately cautious news organization that is so painstakingly thorough, so obsessed with being "fair," that its editors cut adjectives out of stories because they can't be "proven." I'm going with Bloomberg on this one. As the news service's spokesman, Ty Trippet, told me earlier today: "Our reporting speaks for itself." Indeed it does . . .