Of all the surprises to come out of the CES show this year, Palm’s revival as a serious player in the handheld device market is perhaps the biggest of all.
Most people – myself included – had long since consigned Palm to the dustbin, confident that it would never re-invent itself out of the hole it had fallen into, out-manouevred and out-featured by rival devices.
The initial reports coming from CES are that the Palm Pre is an excellent device and offers the iPhone some proper competition.
And at least some of that success might be because the team at Palm has a few former Apple employees on board.
Robert Scoble spells it out:
“How Apple centric is the new Palm team? Well, Chris McKillop is director of Software at Palm … One of the PR people at Palm did PR at Apple. Jonathan Rubinstein, who runs the Palm Pre team and led off the announcement, was a key person in development of the iPod and lots of people followed him from Apple to Palm.”
Partly because my first ever PDA was a Palm, and I was a happy Palm user for many years. I don’t want to see the company fail. And partly because any serious competition for Apple is a good thing – anything that gets people umming and ahhing over whether they should buy an iPhone or a Pre will make Steve Jobs sit up and start paying attention when people ask for simple, basic stuff like copy/paste and syncable text notes.
UPDATE: I’ve just noticed that this post is very similar to another post by my esteemed Cult colleague Mr Mortensen not four hours previously. My apologies for the repetition. At least we can be sure that two great minds here think alike. I’m not having a good week, am I?