iPhone 4 "antenna guy" Mark Papermaster leaves Apple

The iPhone 4 antenna saga looks to have claimed a high-profile victim, as Mark Papermaster – the executive responsible for the Apple smartphone's hardware – has left the company.  According to the NY Times, Papermaster's role will be immediately assumed by Bob Mansfield, SVP of Mac hardware engineering.  There's no official word on whether Papermaster left Apple of his own accord or was fired from his position.

While the paper was able to contact Papermaster by cellphone, the ex-exec declined to comment on his move.  All Apple will officially say is that Papermaster "is leaving the company and Bob Mansfield, senior vice president of Macintosh hardware engineering, is assuming his responsibilities."

Unsurprisingly the reason many are assuming is that Papermaster has taken the hit for the furore over iPhone 4 wireless performance.  According to John Gruber, he was internally known as "the guy responsible for the antenna."