In one of Apple's more surprising hires, analyst Michael Gartenberg is joining Apple's marketing team.

We're been reporting on Gartenberg's analysis of Apple for years, in fact he has even written columns for Macworld, such as this one: Where does Apple go from here?, or Michael Gartenberg - Apple's secret weapon and Michael Gartenberg: The Mac is back.

Gartenberg will report to Phil Schiller, according to Forbes report.

Gartenberg was previously based at Gartner, he also worked for Microsoft as their "evangelist" back in 2007.  

Gartenberg appears to be firmly in the Apple camp, however. Following the Samsung Galaxy 4 launch event back in March Gartenberg tweeted: "What is interesting is Samsung clearly pushing their own exosystem over Google's although confirmed Google Play on device."

As an analyst, Gartenberg clearly had a good relationship with Apple, a year ago Gartenberg was told by Apple that it was putting OS X on an annual schedule, for example, which suggests that Apple will be releasing a preview of the next OS X soon, likely at WWDC.

Gartenberg wasn't so keen on Apple's ridiculed Genius ads that aired last year. He tweeted: "Just saw the Apple "Genius" ads. Can’t say I loved them. They lacked education, aspiration or humor IMHOP. Needed at least 1 of the 3."

A recent spate of negative Apple coverage appears to have lead Apple's PR team to ramp up its media relations strategy and Gartenberg may be part of this.

Related:

Why you shouldn't listen to well-paid analysts

Former Apple exec blasts Apple's PR strategy

Why does everyone hate Apple right now?