Palm CEO: ‘We don’t want to follow design fads’; Nokia CEO challenges Apple over iPhone

“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.

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


  1. This is too funny…

    The future of communication devices is totally dependent on software and Apple makes great software. All these other hardware guys are not in the same league. Are they betting on Microsoft for great software? Good luck with that!

  2. Many people (business executives or otherwise) continue to think that design is simply how something looks. A consumer product with great design will probably look good, but great design is really all about how it works, making it truly functional with an ease of use that often surprises.

  3. I just saw this article on BBC’s web site:

    It is all about the 3GSM in Barcelona but is entitled “Everything but the iPhone” — discussing the long shadow the mysterious device is casting on the show, even though it’s not even there! And the only photo in the article is of Steve at MacWorld in front of the enormous screen image of the iPhone. For once, it’s props to the Beeb!

  4. continue to focus on ease of use and reliability rather than design

    This is the problem. They think these are different things. How do you get ease of use without design ?

    (independetly saying the same as NewsReader above).

  5. Goodness from the BBC,

    thanks for the link; it was an interesting read, but the writer doesn’t really contradict any of the companies’ false claims. True to the BBC standards of tech. journalism, that’s probably a matter of sheer ignorance.

    E.g. It’s not the touch screen that’s original on the iPhone, but the ‘multi-touch’ screen, and THAT is covered by patents as are all the other true innovations.

    That’s why the iPhone is so conpicuous by its absence at Barcelona.

  6. will continue to focus on ease of use ??

    When did they start? I think they need glasses. Apart from the cool design, which may not be a buying factor for some, the fact that you have a REAL and FULL operating system by the same company who makes the hardware (a softeware making computer company), is totally lost on them.

    Or maybe its not and hence the ….Fear Factor!!!!!

  7. It’s called making a virtue of necessity. They can’t follow, so they claim not following Apple is a virtue. If you have Windows Mobile or Sybian, you just can’t access the rich resource available to OS X. If you do not have the patents, including those for multi-touch, then you tout the inferior crap that you do have.

    It sucks to not be Apple.

    MW: learned, as in, “The competion has learned that they are screwed.”

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