Nearly two months after the release of the iPhone 4, the Antennagate fallout continues at Apple. This week, the company’s senior vice president for mobile devices, Mark Papermaster, left the company amid speculation that he was forced out over the iPhone 4’s defective antenna. According to the New York Times,
Apple confirmed Mr. Papermaster’s departure, but would not say whether he was ousted or left of his own accord. Reached on his cellphone, Mr. Papermaster declined to comment.
A person with direct knowledge of the situation, who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it, said Mr. Papermaster had been pushed out over a series of hardware problems, including some related to the iPod Touch.
Mr. Papermaster, who joined Apple in 2008 from IBM, had been excluded from Steve Jobs’ July press conference addressing concerns with the iPhone 4’s antenna design. He will be replaced by Bob Mansfield, senior VP for Macintosh hardware engineering.
The decision to replace Mr. Papermaster might have been a result of his failure to address the defective antenna prior to the phone’s release. According to one source, Apple may have been aware of problems with the antenna design as early as two years ago. John Gruber reports,
One last tidbit from an informed source: the bug on the “touching it wrong” signal loss issue was filed two years ago. This is not a problem they didn’t catch, or caught too late. So, on the one hand, clearly the fundamental antenna design predated Papermaster’s time at the company. But on the other hand, there was plenty of time to find a solution to the problem.
If you own an iPhone 4, and are interested in participating in our lawsuit against Apple and AT&T, please email me at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you.