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Chief iPhone Engineer Leaves Apple

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The man who was in charge of iPhone engineering during the “Antennagate” saga is no longer working for Apple, the New York Times has revealed.

The exact reason for the departure of Mark Papermaster, senior vice-president of devices hardware engineering, is not clear but it’s widely assumed that Papermaster has paid the price for what many consider to be the biggest PR blunder Apple has ever faced.

Papermaster declined to comment to The New York Time on the reasons for his leaving, but Apple confirmed that Bob Mansfield, its current head of Mac hardware, has taken over his role.

At the recent 16 July press conference, at which Papermaster was noted for his absence, Steve Jobs said that the iPhone 4 was Apple’s most successful product ever, and insisted that there was nothing actually wrong the product. This was despite agreeing to give away free cases and bumpers to every iPhone 4 customer, at a cost of millions of dollars.

An incorrectly held iPhone 4, yesterday.

However, while this was Apple’s public stance over the affair, it doesn’t seem unreasonable for it to be less than pleased internally at the way things turned out.

Papermaster’s original hiring at Apple was controversial in itself. Having been at IBM for 25 years, he left the company in late 2008 to go to Apple. IBM sued saying as he was not permitted to join a competitor for a year after his departure but Apple counter-sued, and while the case was eventually resolved Papermaster only joined Apple in April 2009. His departure so soon after this points to an unhappy ending, though whether he was jumped or pushed we might never know.

Link: New York Times

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