"Hey, strangers! Today in Kyoto we stumbled across a HAIR SHRINE!," Belfiore wrote in the ill-fated tweet. "I paid my respects, thinking of all of you!"
Accompanying the missive was a photo of Belfiore in Japan — sporting a new blond hairstyle — and the telltale "via Twitter for iPhone" tag.
Thousands of followers immediately called him out for his apparent platform defection, and the crisis eventually spawned dozens of blog posts commenting on the matter. A think piece from The Verge noted that as Belfiore is on leave, it's only natural that he see other phones while away.
Belfiore rose to his own defense, both on Twitter and in the comments section of The Verge's piece.
"Consumers and business users expect their PCs and phones to work in concert— so to satisfy our customers we need to consider the devices they use AS WELL AS the devices we'd like them to use," Belfiore noted in the comments. "On a 9-month leave-of-absence, I have a HUGE AND UNUSUAL opportunity to get to know these products deeply. To understand the benefits and drawbacks of a full ecosystem like Windows, Android, iOS — you have to LIVE IN IT."
On Twitter, Belfiore lamented that he had been unable to provide even more provocation.
"Right now I'm just bummed that I left my Palm Pre behind," he said. "I really loved that phone, and THAT tweet would have TOTALLY thrown you all..."