Apple's iPod chief steps down, iPhone sales outlook follows suit

Senior Vice President of Apple's iPod division, Tony Fadell has stepped down from his leadership position, and is being replaced by former IBM exec Mark Papermaster.

Fadell is regarded as the progenitor of the iPod ecosystem, bringing to Apple in 2001 the idea of a portable media player with its own dedicated online marketplace. Though The Wall Street Journal says he will be keeping a consultancy position, Fadell's Apple Bio has been removed.

Fadell's replacement, Mark Papermaster, was an architect of the PowerPC 630 chip in the '90s, and later was put in charge of the blade server division. IBM reportedly sued Papermaster for violating his agreement with the company by taking up employment with Apple.

As the departure of a portable device guru is greeted with the arrival of a chip design and server guru, the Mac rumor mill has begun to churn out speculation about the future of the iPod, the device responsible for Apple's current strength.

Meanwhile, the future of the iPhone looks to hold decreased production. This week, Apple reportedly cut its calendar fourth quarter outlook for iPhone production. Analyst Craig Berger said production of the device could drop as much as 40% from the last quarter, with even more coming in the following quarter. It is uncertain that this reduction is a scaling back of a previously increased production rate or the sign of decreasing demand.

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