Feeds

Palm hires iPod guru

Take that, Apple

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

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. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.