Apple iPhone hardware chief departs

The Apple executive in charge of hardware for the company’s iPhone, Mark Papermaster, has left the company.

Neither Apple nor Papermaster would say whether he jumped or was pushed, but he certainly seems to be carrying the can for the antennagate fiasco.

Sources as well as circumstance suggest he was pushed.

Apple pinched Papermaster from IBM, 2008 where he'd served 25 years. IBM sued Mr. Papermaster in an effort to prevent him from joining Apple and the two companies settled after Papermaster told a court that any trade secrets he was privy to would be erased from his databanks.

In public, Apple chief Steve Jobs has been denying there's anything wrong with the iPhone 4, despite the fact that its wrap-around antenna has trouble maintaining calls if held "wrongly".

Eventually Apple condescended to offer iPhone owners a free rubber band to wrap around their phones in a bid to help them make calls.

Now the senior vice president with responsibility for the device's engineering has departed. Was he sacked or was Jobs just making his life hell?

Apple said Bob Mansfield, current senior VP for Macintosh hardware engineering, will assume Mr. Papermaster’s responsibilities.