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How Apple's iPhone Team Saved the Palm Pre?

Yeah, provocative headline, but we've lamented in that past that the Palm Pre was too iPhone-like for us -- based on the involvement of transplanted Apple brain trust -- and how we'd have loved to have seen a truly next generation Palm device. Could it be, however, that the former have saved us from being tragically wrong about the latter?

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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, 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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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:

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