Thursday, November 23, 2006

CEO: Palm 'struggled' figuring stuff out. In other news: Pope Catholic

Palm CEO Ed Colligan chimes in on the iPhone "threat" (as quoted by Mercury News):

"We've learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,'' he said. ``PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in.''
Let's see.

For years, Palm (bought by US Robotics, then by 3Com) was migrating itself, its hardware, software, developers and users away from keyboards. Handwriting recognition (sort of) was the next biggest thing. It worked while the bubble lasted.

Then two founders left over management disputes, and formed Handspring. Handspring added a keypad to a handheld (called Treo) in a moment of clarity, and the smartphone became an instant hit.

So for years, the same inventors were migrating themselves, their hardware, software, developers and users back to keyboards.

Handspring was popular, yet it was dying. Palm was unpopular and dying. So Palm bought Handspring, and finally, all was together in a neat package: the Treo smartphone, the Palm mothership, and the much-tweaked, essential Palm OS software.

It all made too much sense, so something was bound to happen. Palm renamed itself PalmOne, spun off the Palm OS company PalmSource, then renamed itself Palm again.

And licensed Windows Mobile.

I'm starting to wonder if Palm / US Robotics / 3Com / Handspring / PalmOne / PalmSource / Palm is really the best role model Apple can have for straightforward business development.

Additional sources: Palm, CNN, Wikipedia

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