I don't applaud him. Though I sympathize with him, I think it's time now for actors to ignore the phones and just keep going. Interrupting the show makes for a big news splash, which is most probably exactly what the offenders with the phones hope for. (At least some of the time.)
Are you saying that people whose phones ring during a performance and cause a performer to stop the show are "hoping for" that to happen and hoping for the news coverage that will follow? I think, and hope, that might possibly be the case with an extremely miniscule minority of mentally unbalanced troublemakers who crave attention at all costs.
I will say that, back in the day, I did hear rumors that some people would take photos during Broadway performances by Katharine Hepburn with the specific goal of getting her to stop the show and berate them. But who knows if there was any truth to that. I sure hope not.