Feeds

Palm hires iPod guru

Take that, Apple

High performance access to file storage

Three weeks ago, Palm CEO Ed Colligan described Apple's iPhone as "a highly developed media player, which happens to include a phone". But that doesn't mean he's being complacent. According to the New York Times, Palm has hired former Apple alumini Paul Mercer to work on a new line of products.

In 2001, Mercer's Pixo design house was contracted by Apple to help create the first iPod. While Apple never formally acknowledged its role, Pixo contributed the operating system, software layers, and hardware integration. Mercer himself spent years at Apple, contributing to System 7 and the Newton.

(Pixo is no more, but its part in the iPod's history was noted in this San Francisco Chronicle article.)

Mercer brings two employees with him from his current design house Iventor with him.

Palm hasn't updated its PDA range since autumn 2005, and its attempt to create a new product category with the hard-drive based LifeDrive failed to set the market alight. But hints and hirings suggest it has intended to return to the market with a more focused device.

Palm founder Jeff Hawkins, has been working on a new software project at his own company Numenta with Donna Dubinsky, which apparently implements a "heirarchical temporal memory component" - based on his own neuroscience work.

In a February interview, Colligan also made the observation that "our Palm Treo already has 90 per cent of Apple's iPhone features at a much lower price".

And that's something even Apple is sensitive to. COO Tim Cook told a conference recently that free phones are worthless.

"If we offer something that has tremendous value, that is sort of this thing people didn't have in their consciousness - it was not imaginable - then I think there's a whole bunch of people that will pay $499, $599," he told analysts at the Goldman Sachs technology conference.

In the USA that may be true - but in more mature markets such as Europe, consumers are used to getting the latest technology heavily subsidised. And here, both Palm and Apple have to compete with free. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.