Analysts view iPhone 4 "antennagate" as likely factor

Apple executive Mark Papermaster exits the company

The Apple executive in charge of engineering the new iPhone 4 has left the company following the troubled launch of the new smartphone.

Apple confirmed that Mark Papermaster, senior vice president of engineering for the iPod and iPhone, has left the company. The company said that Papermaster’s responsibilities will be assumed by Bob Mansfield who previously was responsible for managing Macintosh engineering at the company.

The company had originally gone to considerable lengths in 2008 poach Papermaster from a 26-year stint at IBM. IBM subsequently sued alleging breach of a non-complete clause in Papermaster’s employment contract with the company. 

Apple watcher John Gruber wrote on his Daring Fireball blog that "From what I’ve heard, it’s clear he was sacked," pointing out that Papermaster was a "conspicuous absence" from the Apple "antennagate" press conference. 

Papermaster’s replacement, Bob Mansfield, already had responsibility for a number of technologies in the iPhone 4 such as the A4 CPU, touch screen and "retina" display. 

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