Apple loses iPod, iPhone architect

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Tony Fadell, the man credited with creating the iPod and iPhone, is exiting Apple for personal reasons, the firm said.

Fadell, who was thought to be a possible successor to Apple chief Steve Jobs, will be replaced by former IBM executive Mark Papermaster, who joined Apple as senior vp devices. IBM is suing Papermaster for violating a noncompete clause. Fadell will remain associated with Apple as an adviser to Jobs.

Fadell's forte was in consumer hardware, which paid huge dividends in the sleek design and interface that propelled the iPod to its dominant place atop the portable-media device market. Papermaster, on the other hand, is focused on building processors and servers — the back-end guts that consumers rarely see.

Judging by these differences alone, one could speculate that Apple is satisfied that future iPod models will continue to maintain a dominance in the market regarding design aesthetic and will aggressively pursue a new model of music and media delivery that relies on connected media, as opposed to the current downloadable-file model.

Antony Bruno is a contributor to Billboard.
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