The long-running dispute between Apple and IBM over Apple's hire of Mark Papermaster has come to a close, according to Apple PR:

Apple® today announced that Mark Papermaster will be coming to Apple as senior vice president of Devices Hardware Engineering, reporting to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, on April 24. Papermaster, who comes to Apple from IBM, will lead Apple’s iPod® and iPhone™ hardware engineering teams. The litigation between IBM and Mark Papermaster has been resolved

The move comes fully two months after a judge blocked Apple from going through with the Papermaster hire and although exactly how the "litigation [...] has been resolved" isn't something that Apple is likely to disclose, TechCrunch reports that it was an out-of-course settlement rather than a "California doesn't allow for non-compete agreements" barfight.

Papermaster will take the helm of iPhone and iPod hardware, replacing Tony Fadell (who was rumored to have pushed for Linux to be the basis for the iPhone).  Odd that he's going to have to wait until April 24th to take charge, but we suspect that won't slow things down too much on hardware development.  Got any advice for Papermaster?  Would you like to seem him shephard in that iPhone HD? Think he'll push for Quad-Core goodness?