It was only going to be a matter of time before someone would get the axe due to the antenna issues that plagued the iPhone 4. That someone is Mark Papermaster, Apple’s senior vice president of iPhone and iPod hardware engineering.
Apple announced today that Mr. Papermaster will be leaving the company. Apple did not say whether Papermaster was fired or left on his own accord but, regardless, it is clear that Apple is starting to clean house. The iPhone 4 antenna issues, after all, cost Apple a pretty penny forcing them to offer free bumper cases to anyone who had purchased an iPhone 4 and refund anyone who bought Apple’s bumper case.
Bob Mansfield, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Apple’s Mac hardware engineering will replace Papermaster. It is clear that this move was in the planning for a while since Mansfield was present in the news conference that Apple held to discuss the iPhone 4 antenna issues and not Papermaster. Most likely, the last several weeks have been spent going back and forth on a nice settlement.
Whether or not Papermaster will bear the full responsibility of these issues is yet to be seen. Most analysts agree that the iPhone 4 was rushed through testing and released to combat the large number of Android devices that have been released around the same time as the iPhone. Due to cell phone contracts, Apple has to release a new phone around the same time each year to make sure that users whose contracts are up upgrade to the new device and do not go elsewhere (if AT&T’s network was better, Apple would not be in this position but many people have switched to Verizon and Sprint due to AT&T’s network). That said, others at Apple were responsible for releasing the phone. What is clear is that we may never know what exactly happened in the weeks following the iPhone 4’s release. Apple is as secretive as they come.