“Palm, Inc, the maker of the Treo smart phone, will continue to focus on ease of use and reliability rather than design, Palm CEO Ed Colligan said in an interview at the 3GSM telecommunications trade show here,” Aude Lagorce reports for MarketWatch.

“‘We think that will be a greater driver of purchases in the future,’ he told MarketWatch in the interview. ‘We don’t want to follow design fads,'” Lagorce reports. “While Colligan acknowledged that phones have become ‘a bit of a personal status symbol,’ he stressed that Palm’s core business user is most interested in reliable applications and great functionality.”

“Colligan suggested that recent design innovations may be passing fads, noting that while some phones have become ultra thin, that evolution has often come at the expense of battery life,” Lagorce reports.

Lagorce reports, “Apple rattled handset makers in January when it unveiled its $499 gadget, which combines a phone, iPod music player and a device to surf the Internet. Most noticeably on the design front, the gadget does away with the keyboard entirely and replaces it with a sophisticated touch-screen. But Colligan, far from awed, said the arrival of the iPhone is good news for the industry. ‘I think it’s signaling that the phone business is shifting toward more converged devices. That can only be good for us,’ he said.”

MacDailyNews Take: If Palm really thinks the iPhone is good for them, they must have a lot of Apple stock.

Full article here.

Chris Noon reports for Forbes, “Two weeks ago, Nokia’s chief executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo put a brave face on Apple Computer’s entry to the cell-phone market.”

Noon reports, “Kallasvuo, possibly through gritted teeth, welcomed the U.S. technology company to the fray. Apple Computer would ‘stimulate this market,’ the Finn conceded. He added that the iPhone would be ‘good for the industry.’

“On Monday, ‘OPK,’ as the executive is affectionately known by the media, had changed his tune. Speaking at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Kallasvuo said Apple would struggle to replicate the success its iPod had enjoyed in the world of portable music devices. He challenged Apple to ‘turn mindshare into market share’ when it launches the iPhone later this year,” Noon reports.

Noon reports, “Kallasvuo knows he cannot match the iPhone feature for feature or ‘cool factor,’ so he needs to bring products to market that are just good enough to disincentivize customers from switching. Improving the ways in which customers can take advantage of Internet connectivity is his first priority.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What we are witnessing here is one of the largest collective pants dirtying episodes in business history. These guys have nothing. Nothing, but the same old “it’s not revolutionary… we don’t follow passing fads… not much of a threat” rigmarole for their shareholders.

Imagine these deer-in-the-headlight CEOs: they’re all at their big phone show with their plastic keyboards festooned with tiny buttons and all anyone asks them about is Apple’s iPhone. It’s CES all over again, but worse, if possible. Every article talks about iPhone and Apple isn’t even there.

Wouldn’t you love to hear what they really think and say about iPhone behind closed doors? We’ve heard that “I’m getting too old for this” and “Where’s that ‘Taps’ ringtone?” are currently vying with the ever-popular “That #*^$%@& Steve Jobs!” for the top spot on the “Phrases Most Often Used Privately by Phone Execs Who Don’t Work for Apple” list.

This time, it’s all very well-protected by patents by Apple, too. Palm et al. don’t “follow design ‘fads'” because they can’t.

This is going to be so very, very fun to watch.

SEE ALSO:
RIM co-CEO doesn’t see threat from Apple’s iPhone – February 12, 2007
Apple’s soon-to-be iPhone rivals sound just like iPod rivals circa 2001 – February 01, 2007
O2, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile battle for exclusive rights to Apple iPhone in UK – January 26, 2007
Rogers to offer Apple iPhone exclusively in Canada – January 25, 2007
FUD Alert: Apple iPhone ‘isn’t very practical’ and a ‘security risk’ for business – January 24, 2007
Research in Motion downgraded due to Apple iPhone competition – January 23, 2007
Microsoft CEO Ballmer laughs at Apple iPhone – January 17, 2007
RealMoney: Apple just blew up the whole damn mobile-phone supply chain with its new iPhone – January 11, 2007
The massive FUD campaign against Apple’s iPhone ramps up – January 10, 2007
eWeek: Apple iPhone fallout: ‘They must be crying in Nokia-ville and other telephony towns today’ – January 10, 2007
Jefferies downgrades Motorola on fears of market share loss to Apple iPhone – January 10, 2007
The massive FUD campaign against Apple’s iPhone ramps up – January 10, 2007
Time: ‘iPhone could crush cell phone market pitilessly beneath the weight of its own superiority’ – January 09, 2007
Analyst: Apple iPhone should be given its own category – ‘brilliantphone’ – January 09, 2007
Apple debuts iPhone: touchscreen mobile phone + widescreen iPod + Internet communicator – January 09, 2007