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. Now if Apple will just get to the point where the iPhone can have apps added to it, and expand the storage for MP3’s, I might even consider it. $500 for a device with shorter battery life and less flexibility than a Treo and less storage than my current iPod isn’t going to get me to switch. Add to that that I would have to change networks (and increase my monthly bill), and it’s no deal for me.

    I like the style and form factor of the iPhone, don’t get me wrong. But if I can’t add apps to it like I can a Palm-based device, and if it doesn’t hold as much as my current 5th gen iPod, why exactly would I plunk down the money to buy it? I already have a decent phone and a great iPod- it’s not worth $500 to me to combine the two and reduce features, while at the same time increasing my monthly bill.

    I definitely see it as a good start for Apple, and I sincerely hope they can grow the product line, but the neither of the two models they’ve announced so far would work for me.

    Now, when Apple releases an iPhone that allows me to add applications to it (some sort of PDF viewer, something to work with office-type files, an SSH client, a true IM client (not SMS-based), misc games, etc) , and has 30+ GB of storage, and is sold unlocked, I’ll likely be first in line.

  2. “…will continue to focus on ease of use and reliability rather than design…”

    This is either a lie or they have completely failed at all attempts. My Treo700P has a poor user interface and is one of the most unreliable things I have ever owned. It completely crashed on my AGAIN this last week – lost documents, had to nuke and pave again.

    “…he stressed that Palm’s core business user is most interested in reliable applications and great functionality.”

    I agree this is what they are interested in – but Palm and the like are not delivering – which is why Apple will eat their lunch. Perhaps not at first, but it will happen.

    “…he needs to bring products to market that are just good enough to disincentivize customers from switching.”

    Ahhh, the truth is told. That is the real focus of these companies – build products that are just good enough to get them sold. Laden with “features” that don’t work or are so frustrating that they are useless, with a horrible UI that is prone to crash when you look at it wrong.

    Yes, ladies and gentlemen the time is ripe for Apple to show them how it should be done. But I don’t think Apple has anything to worry about but inertia as people start to see what it can be like on the other side.

  3. Is the iphone a fad or a look at things to come? Remember those crazy ideas that Apple did and everyone thought they were nuts? You know those, “why would anyone ever do that?” things. Getting rid of the floppy drive, switching entirely to USB and dropping the legacy ports, the iPod, and various others. If history is any indication I am betting on Apple here.

  4. apple is leading the way of inovacion when others are laming poor industries that only want their money to do nothing in history,all sofware companys should have their own UI and products but thats impossible in these days because they can see the truth in their eyes,and design,design is the most important thing besides hardware;why apple is the only company that can do this?because it has everything she needs.

  5. “Palm, Inc, the maker of the Treo smart phone, will continue to focus on ease of use and reliability rather than design.” LOL! Apple is almost alone in recognising that it’s not a case of either/or and that you can’t have one without the other.

    And as for iPhone, why not wait until it appears, instead of second-guessing what capabilities it might or might not have? I doubt that Steve revealed all in his keynote.

  6. > Palm, Inc, the maker of the Treo smart phone, will continue to focus on ease of use and reliability rather than design

    Palm’s CEO apparently does not understand that “design” creates “ease of use and reliability.” Palm is MORE doomed than ever.

    If he meant to say “design fad,” how can maximizing screen size while maximizing interface flexibility be a fad.

  7. Denial. What else are they going to do? They can’t make a phone like Apple so all they can do is wish it away and comfort themselves with a false belief of it’s just a passing fad. Since the iPhone isn’t even out yet they must anticipate it being a success.

  8. A bit of a mistake to think Apple is only about design.

    (As Microsoft are discovering when pitching Vista against Tiger.)

    (And Dell and HP have discovered when pitching their boxes against iMacs and MacBooks.)

  9. It’s amazing how many things the iPhone has already been called even though it hasn’t been released yet.
    So now it is a fad? Hmmm…. Well Palm you better get used to following the fad iPhone because it is going to do a lot of busniness for Apple come June. This fad product really hasn’t shown all of it’s features yet as some of the software wasn’t ready for show at Macworld. So there’s more to come this June than just a Fad. Design is everything if it’s done right. Palm can’t figure that out yet apparently. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  10. Too bad my Treo 650 is little more than a piece of trash… right out of the box. It’s known more by its users for its UNreliability than anything else. There is nothing special about Palm’s products. Palm OS is house of cards that barely makes phone calls well.

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