Mark Papermaster, head of iPhone hardware, leaves Apple


Mark Papermaster, whose departure from IBM for Apple led to some high profile legal wrangling, has now left Apple -- chronologically following the antennagate saga, though no direct correlation has been reported. Apple spokesman Steve Dowling told the New York Times:

[Papermaster] is leaving the company and Bob Mansfield, senior vice president of Macintosh hardware engineering, is assuming his responsibilities. [...] Mr. Mansfield already oversees several technologies that are part of the iPhone, including the A4 chip, the retina display and touch screens,

Before being removed from, Papermaster's bio read as follows.

Mark Papermaster is Apple's senior vice president of Devices Hardware Engineering. He leads the iPod and iPhone engineering teams, and reports directly to Apple's CEO.

Papermaster has 25 years of product and technology experience, and was previously a vice president at IBM responsible for blade development including x86, POWER, storage blades, chassis, network electronics and associated ecosystem. He started his career in application-specific IC development circuit design at IBM’s Microelectronics Division, and had technical and management assignments in quality, CAD tool applications, and microprocessors.

While Papermaster was notably absent from Apple's recent iPhone 4 press conference, his replacement was up on stage with Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, Mansfield was front and center.

Update: According to Daring Fireball's source, Papermaster was fired following antennagate:

Inside Apple, he’s “the guy responsible for the antenna” — that’s a quote from a source back on July 23. (Another quote from the same source: “Apparently the antenna guys used to have a big chip on their shoulder. No more.”)

[NYT, Daring Fireball]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Mark Papermaster, head of iPhone hardware, leaves Apple


Papermaster? No offense but I would not enjoy myself with the name Papermaster.
He should stick with paperwork and not iPhone hardware.

@ icebike
Are you sure about the 3 of the 4 sites not including this one that I just checked all said leaves. The fourth said "out" in the title but "left" in the story. So it all depends on what site you go to.

So there is no problem with the antenna, but we'll fire the exec in charge anyways.
Even though the design was under review before he got there.
And we had a protracted battle with IBM to hire the guy.
Nope, no problem at all.


So it all depends on what site you go to.

And whether you believe in "hormonal imbalance."
Seriously, you can't be that naive, can you?
John Gruber: "From what I’ve heard, it’s clear he was canned."

So this guy is "fired" because of antennagate, that job states that there's no "problem" at all,.. & yet they don't fire the drunk that spoiled the surprise for evrybody before iPhone 4. That's just ridiculous.

TiPB Editors/Apple Fanboys: "There was no antenna problem, just media hype blown out of proportion"
Apple: "antenna guy, you're fired"

Nobody was saying that the antenna didn't cause problems, just that the issues were blown completely out of proportion. It would be nice if some of the trolls could at least represent what Apple fans say accurately. Also, the antenna was NOT part of the design prototype before Papermaster got there. Ive had the idea of the design but the antenna was his call per Gruber who icebike himself is using as the penultimate source on this. In other words, I would be shocked if anyone buys into the feigned surprise of those usual suspects who normally come here to TiPb to twist the facts.

Since Apple fought a hard legal battle to get Papermaster from IBM and then in only a year and a half fire the guy cause he messed up. Maybe he never stopped working for IBM. And messed up the iPhone on purpose.

Spend 15 seconds on a search engine. This report is one among many:
"During a tour of Apple’s device testing facilities (where Mansfield, but not Papermaster, was present), we were told that the iPhone 4 was being tested for a full two years before its launch. That means it was being tested before Papermaster got to Apple. While it’s not clear when the final hardware was approved for production, it’s certainly possible that Papermaster had little to do with that specific device’s hardware creation."

Some parts may have been tested two full years earlier than launch but not the iPhone4. The screen technology wasn't in production that early, even in sample quantities.
Two years before launch was back in 2008, when the iphone 3G was still new, and the A4 processor wasn't even dream in the chip fab.
Do you seriously expect anyone to believe they had it in house two years ago?
Again, you are pointing to one Apple Lie as justification for another Apple lie.
But that doesn't matter. If Papermaster was put in charge of the antenna design, and the antenna design sucked, it was HIS JOB to step up and say so. He had a whole year do work up the courage to tell Apple his own antenna designers were telling HIM: that it had serious problems.
So my advise to you is to spend far more than 15 seconds on a search engine and start reading the entire articles you find with a critical eye. This is the same company that told you A Liver Transplant was a hormonal imbalance. Yet you gulp down the koolaid again and again and trot out their lies again, all while belittling the research skills of others.

So this proves that there was indeed a problem... This layoff erases Apple's intent to minimize the problem... I am now sure it is a huge issue, otherwise this layoff cannot be explained... Shame on you apple, just speak the truth... I am a apple fan....

@mc you speak bs mate if you had an iPhone 4 you would see the issue is blown way out of proportion!

Replace it then :) I use a bumper and it helps but not really have problems like what people say on the net.

@ Jay: I dont care about my phone, you brought it to the discussion, not me... I am just saying that the issue is really an issue and not as Apple said at first... otherwise I dont explain the special conference, the bumper, this layoff... blown out of proportion? Maybe... But that the antenna thing is an issue, no doubt... and Apple is helping feeding it...

Good ridance. That is, if it was him. If he's not a scapegoat. I'm not sure you can blame 1 guy for this. Seems more complex.

wel I have an Iphone 4 and there antenna problem is there but with the bumper its not .. the bumper is actually preferred vs a case because its really comfortable to hold.. so i choose the bumper over a case.
iphone 4 is still a great device no one has ever created something even remotely close with the culture to back it up.. to date kudos to apple !

There is something going on here. I love apple to death, but yes, there is a problem with the iPhone 4 antenna. I know it, you know it, even steve jobs knows it. But they gave out what they thought was a good fix for people who were having problems. That took care of the customers. Next they had to look internally. So it really isnt a shock they fired this guy, or made him leave, or how ever you want to word it. What is next for the fix? Refurbs that will be put together with a redesigned antenna that is insulated on the inside to avoid the bridging of the cell and wifi antennas. They will then give these to all the stores and when you make a genius appt you will get a new phone. This is how it is going to be. It sucks, and i know people will eat bandwidth up for months complaining about it, but its life. people make mistakes. get over it.