VP of devices hardware engineering Mark Papermaster has left Cupertino in the wake of ‘Antennagate’, but neither Apple nor Papermaster are commenting the departure. Apple confirmed Papermaster left the company in a very brief statement.
Troubles with the iPhone 4 antenna emerged shortly after the new phone was introduced on June 24 and Apple lost quite a bit of face over its handling of the issue. In the end the company admitted that not all was good with the iPhone and offered free bits of rubber to consumers who faced the issue. Oddly enough, the Catholic Church did not mind.
It’s worth noting that Papermaster joined Apple in April 2009, following a legal battle with IBM. In fact, Apple had to go to court and fight for the transfer, which was opposed by Big Blue. While it is conceivable that Papermaster was responsible for the cock-up, it sounds a bit strange, as he had spent just over a year at the company by the time the iPhone 4 was launched.
It appears that Papermaster had a falling out with his peers in mid-July, but since there has been no official clarification or comment the circumstances of his departure are a still subject of much speculation.
In any case, Apple has other matters to ponder, as the white iPhone 4 is still nowhere to be found and despite strong sales the iPhone is quickly losing ground to cheaper Android handsets.