iPhone Hardware Chief Leaves Apple - NBC4 Washington

iPhone Hardware Chief Leaves Apple

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    Apple's new iPhone may require a hardware fix.

    The fallout over antenna problems on the iPhone 4 appears to have reached the top offices of Apple's hardware division.

    Mark Papermaster, the top executive of the company's mobile devices, has left the company. The New York Times first reported the sudden departure Saturday and said Apple spokesman Steve Dowling confirmed Papermaster has left the company but didn't say whether he was fired or left on his own.

    His picture has already been removed from Apple's site.

    Papermaster's role will be filled by Bob Mansfield, senior vice president of Macintosh hardware engineering, Dowling said.

    Apple hired Papermaster in January 2009 to lead development on the new iPhone. He spent 25 years at IBM before he went to Apple. IBM sued him, saying a non compete agreement kept him from joining Apple. The case went to court and was settled after Papermaster testified he didn't have any trade secrets.

    The reception problems on the iPhone 4 have been widely-reported and Apple has given a fix in the form of a rubber wrapper around the edge on the iPhone.

    Some tech watchers noted Papermaster's absence at a press conference Apple held in the wake of the tech glich.