When I worked at Apple, high praise was, "This doesn't suck too bad." And, that's true, for the most part, about the earphone mic.
However, this problem is not an issue of sound quality or intended functionality. I love how a single click on the middle of the mic can either answer or hangup a phone call - or how it will pause and resume music. Two clicks of it will skip to the next song. I also love how convenient it is to have the volume adjustment on the mic too.
But, what I can't stand is the mic's industrial design. Its poor functionality reminds me of the old hockey puck mouse that shipped, for so many years, with the original iMac.
The problem with the design of the mic on the earphone cord is that it has tiny, right angle, edges that are about a sixteenth of an inch. While this is a tiny lip, it's a huge pain when trying to use the earbuds while speaking on the phone and turning your head because it constantly gets caught on my shirt collars and pulls the ear buds out of my ears. Obviously that's a distraction we can do without while driving.
The solution to this problem is obvious: simply taper the edges of the mic. It seems like a simple fix.
I wonder if Steve Jobs is overlooking this problem since he always wears an uncollared mock turtleneck shirt?