Former Exec Rubenstein Wanted a Physical Keyboard on the iPhone
Sramana Mitra has an interesting post up comparing Apple to Palm. Actually, she's been on a tear lately when it comes to Palm and how they've dropped the corporate management ball. She scored a comprehensive interview with former Palm Executive Eric Benhamou, which reads very nicely but is also a clear example of how the problems Palm has now are the direct result of their earlier problems. Basically they followed the exact opposite trajectory that Apple did in nearly the same time period (basically).
Anyway, back to the intersection of the two companies. Mitra writes:
Rubinstein and Jobs could not agree on the iPhone’s strategy wrt the Keyboard. This tells me that Rubinstein has a separate but perhaps also compelling vision on how the keyboard needs to be incorporated into smartphones. I can’t wait to see what that vision entails!
It's surely not the case (one assumes) that Rubenstein left Apple over the keyboard issue (though that would be hilarious); but it is interesting that the guy who ran the iPod division, the podfather himself, was pro-physical-keyboard for the iPhone. Now, of course, he's hard at work over at Palm, they who basically specialize in keyboard + touchscreen smartphones.
One wonders what other ideas Rubenstein had that didn't make the cut on the iPhone. If "Podfather" Rubenstein's input was 86'd on the iPhone, then one assumes that it was all Ive and Jobs, just like everybody's always said.
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