Palm

Apple Hints at Palm Lawsuit?

As we mentioned briefly during TiPb's live coverage of Apple's Q1 conference call yesterday, and our new sibling site, PreCentral.net elaborated on, Apple's Chief Operating Officer, Tim Cook, might have made a shot across Palm's bow when it comes to the Pre and Apple's multi-touch patents (text via Macworld):

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Today on the Forums: iPhone 2.3 Firmware, SIM Card Sharing, Where Did You Get Your iPhone? Palm Pre, Yahoo vs. Gmail

It's been some time since the 2.2 firmware dropped, yet we have not heard of any developers getting their hands on the next version. So Dizzy wants to know, when is iPhone 2.3 firmware coming? That is a very good question, so check out that thread and let him know what you think...

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What the Palm Pre Stole from the iPhone... and What the iPhone Should Steal From the Pre

As I've said many times before on TiPb, I'm a Palm guy going back to the Palm V, and Treo guy going back to the Treo 600. When Palm essentially abandoned that user-base (see my Palm Treo Pro Round Robin video and review) a few years back, I abandoned them and dove headlong into the iPhone (and now the iPhone 3G).

I still have a very warm spot in my heart for Palm, however, their innovation in the smartphone space, and their focus on zen-like user experience. So, when Palm announced their new WebOS platform and premiered their new Pre handset at CES (see our new baby sibling site PreCentral.net for all the details and a massive hands-on video), I was more than just a little ecstatic. I won't lie, it's the first post-iPhone device that's caught my attention.

Don't get me wrong, I still fear for Palm -- the market is much more crowded than it was when they helped create it, and for all the problems WebOS and the Pre solve, they bring their own set to the table. However, watching the Palm Keynote fro CES I, presented by former Apple iPod father Jon Rubinstein and Palm founder Ed Colligan, two things stood really stood out for me:

  • What Palm outright stole from the iPhone and put in the Pre
  • And what Apple should immediate steal from Palm and put into the next iPhone OS.

We'll get into both, after the break.

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TreoCentral at CES: Palm Announces Pre, the "iPhone Slider"

Confession: I'm just leaving Macworld and haven't had a chance to form much of an opinion about the Palm Pre yet (see pics). TreoCentral (and our new baby sibling site, PreCentral.net) absolutely KILLED it on the first impressions, and make sure you check out the live blog (and congrats to Dieter on the trifecta of Schiller, Balmer, and Colligan all in one week! Superstar!).

The Treo 600 was my first smartphone, the 680 my last before the iPhone, so I have great fondness for Palm despite them leaving me "out in the desert" (TM, TreoCentral TreoCast) for years and years. I want them to succeed, I want them to force the entire industry to keep up the innovation and revolution the iPhone started. I want Steve Jobs and Apple to run back to the drawing board and feel compelled to make the iPhone HD 3.0 even better than they intended.

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Round Robin: TiPb vs. Palm Treo Pro Q&A!

[This is an official Smartphone Experts Round Robin post! Every day you reply here, you're automatically entered for a chance to win an iPhone 3G, Case-Mate Naked Case, and Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset! Full contest rules here!]

Our video preview is done, our final review is posted, but you had Palm Treo Pro questions and so we'll try to provide some answers... After the break...

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Round Robin: TiPb vs. Palm Treo Pro Final Review

[This is an official Smartphone Experts Round Robin post! Every day you reply here, you're automatically entered for a chance to win an iPhone 3G, Case-Mate Naked Case, and Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset! Full contest rules here!]

Of all the reviews I have to write as part of the Smartphone Experts Round Robin, I have a feeling this one is going to be the hardest. See, I was a Palm OS user since the Palm V and stuck with the platform through the Treo 680, before switching to the original iPhone.

That, year after year after year, Palm still hasn't been able to ship a successor to Palm OS Garnet is inconceivable to me to the degree that what I'm now holding in my hand, gorgeous and powerful though it may be -- isn't a Palm, isn't a Treo. Not really. I was funny about that in my video. I'm actually more than a little sad about it real life.

The Treo 800 series should really be running Palm OS 2.0 "Nova". Since it's not, however, I'm reviewing an HTC handset running Windows Mobile 6.1 -- something I'll be doing almost immediately again with the HTC FUZE/PRO.

How to handle that? To avoid redundancy, I'm going to stick reviewing hardware -- a front facing Qwerty this time, slider the next -- and breaking up the software into two parts. This review (and thanks to Dieter for the idea!) will focus on the traditional Palm core -- the four pillars of PIM (Personal Information Management). The FUZE review will cover everything else Windows Mobile (media, apps, maps, etc.)

And I'm going to begin, after the break!

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Round Robin: TiPb vs. Palm Treo Pro Video Preview!

[This is an official Smartphone Experts Round Robin post! Every day you reply here, you're automatically entered for a chance to win an iPhone 3G, Case-Mate Naked Case, and Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset! More below!]

[Digg link]

I loved Palm devices and used them as my "main brain" from the Palm V all the way to the Palm 680, before transitioning to the first iPhone. But here's the thing, I don't feel like I left Palm -- I feel like they left me. Will the Palm Treo Pro be enough to lure me back?

Fair warning: About 1 minute of this preview is done "Zero Punctuation" style (without the salty language, of course!). Apologies to Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw and everyone at the Escapist for the poor (very poor!) parody, and to our readers... er... viewers, but it had to be done!

Check it out, then head on over to Treo Central to help me get this thing working! Every day you post, you get entered to WIN one of FIVE smartphone prize packs! And you can enter each site's contest, so don't forget to help Dieter un-harshen his mellow with the iPhone!

Prize details after the jump...

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The Four Pillars of PIM -- TiPb of the Iceberg

Recently our friends at sister site TreoCentral pointed us to this snippet: Apple was seriously interested in purchasing Palm back in 1997.  This is interesting for all sorts of reasons, but chief amongst them for me is this: Had the deal gone through, we might have seen the iPhone not only come to market earlier, but possibly seen it prevent other smartphone manufacturers (like RIM) from being able to compete.  It's an interesting 'what could have been' scenario: just as Apple was killing off their Newton line, it would pick up the Palm Pilot and add functionality to it at presumably a more rapid pace than Palm did.

It's also notable that even back in 1997, the powers-that-be in Apple recognized that they would need to transition from a strictly-computer company to a consumer products company:

A perhaps little known fact: in the Summer of 1997, Steve Jobs called Eric Benhamou, 3Com's CEO (the company owned Palm). "Give me the Palm and come and join my Board of Directors. Only Apple can make Palm a true consumer brand." Nothing happened. Apple's foray into the product segment had to wait ten more years.

Of course, neither Apple nor Palm were in a position to really get things moving quickly at that time.  Palm would have to wait until their first (of many) convoluted ownership shakeups sorted itself out and Apple itself was still in the midst of redefining itself for the Steve Jobs era. The parallels between Palm now and Apple then are also fun to think about -- both in dire need of a turnaround, both written off by much of the industry, and both have/had Jon Rubinstein playing a key role in revitalizing hardware.

I could go on and on playing "What If?" but instead there's something else that this little snippet brings to mind: Palm got something right with the original Palm Pilot way back in 1997 and I really wish Apple would take a closer look at that 1997 tech.

Read on to find out what Palm got right way back in the mid to late 90s.

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iPhone Jeopardy Rerun: Ballmer, Lazaridis, and Colligan Edition!

This. Is. iPhone JEOPARDY!... Judges Round!

Way back on March 14 we covered some of the bold, bodacious pontifications the CEOh-no's of Microsoft, RIM, and Palm had made about the iPhone. Quick-on-the-buzzer as always, it's time once again to go back to our judges and see how they did!

"Why We're Not Worried about the iPhone" for 100

Ed Colligan:

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