Recently, the AIR-ANT4941 antenna (the "rubber duck" type) was changed. The part number stayed the same, but according to our pre-sales guy, the cost reduced. I wasn't aware of this because I try to avoid the money side of things and concentrate on tech stuff. I've got physical specimens of both the old, and new versions of this antenna and there are obvious quality differences.
The reason I'm posting this here is that hopefully someone at Cisco might take note.
My personal opinion is that Cisco should have stayed with the older version of this antenna. The newer version is very very poor quality. Out of 12 I used last week, three broke when I was attaching them. I never had one of the older type break in this way. I don't believe I was being rough with the antenna's either.
A number of our clients have commented on this also, in negative terms.
I suspect the change was some kind of cost cutting exercise. I think this is a false economy. If a customer is going to buy a Cisco product, it won't be because its cost effective (there are much cheaper alternatives). It may in part be due to perception of quality however, and little problems like this have a negative impact.
You are dead on. I recently received a batch of these for a customer install, and was immediately struck by how cheap they were. I did not have any break on me; perhaps I was fortunate.
I also noticed that when you tighten the antennas down, the knuckle no longer turns freely; you have to loosen it, rotate it into position, and then tighten it back down while holding the antenna how you want it.
I didn't realize Cisco had lowered the price until just now, and yes, it's down to $19 from $49. It would be nice if CCO could push price change notifications out to its registered users.