Apple has hired a former senior IBM man to head its iPhone and iPod division, but the computer giant is less than delighted with the move and is going to challenge the appointment in court.

IBM insists that, as a senior manager, Mark Papermaster had access to the company's privileged information and has agreed not to work for a rival for a year.

Papermaster has been brought in by Apple to replace Tony Fadell who is moving into an advisory position in Apple, to spend more time with his family.

Violation

"Mr Papermaster's employment is a violation of his agreement with IBM against working for a competitor should he leave IBM," said IBM Spokesman Doug Shelton. "We will vigorously pursue this case in court."

Papermaster left his job as Senior Vice President of devices hardware engineering at IBM in late October.