Palm and its line of smartphones might be extinct, but its patents have managed to live on after the company’s death, and Apple’s ready to scoop some of them up.
Apple reached an agreement with Japan’s ACCESS Co., Ltd. to license $10 million worth of patents that were originally created by Palm and PalmSource. Other patents were included in the deal from Bell Communications and Geoworks as well.
Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs threatened Palm CEO Edward Colligan with patent litigation if he did not agree to stop poaching Apple employees, according to a court filing that was made public on Tuesday.
Confidential emails between the pair, along with documents from Adobe and Google, have surfaced in a civil lawsuit that claims a number of major companies in Silicon Valley violated antitrust rules by entering into agreements not to recruit each other’s employees. Five employees are now fighting for class action status and damages for lost wages as a result of the “no-hire” agreements.
Apple’s Newton platform was considered to be ahead of its time, even though Steve Jobs eventually axed the iPhone-like device when he made his return back to Apple. But even though the Newton was futuristic, it could have been even better if Apple had listened to Qualcomm’s advice.
During an interview with Charlie Rose, Qualcomm’s CEO Paul Jacobs said that he tried to convince Apple to put a radio chip in the Newton PDA during the 90s, but was shot down, so he struck up a deal with Palm instead.
One of the interesting tidbits to emerge from testimony during Oracle panent infringment trial against Google is that Oracle had considered producing its own smartphone and buying either RIM or Palm. The testimony came from Oracle chief Larry Ellison, who was a close personal friend of Steve Jobs. Ellison is, in fact, quoted as describing their relationship as “best friends” in Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs.
The news raises some interesting questions – not the least of which are whether Jobs knew of the plan and what impact Oracle jumping into the smartphone game against the iPhone might have had on their friendship. Jobs was obsessed with the idea that Google and its former CEO Eric Schmidt (also a former Apple board member) had ripped off Apple’s iOS design work in creating Android.
How did HP get into such a mess with webOS? Essentially, the company shot itself in the foot as a parade of managers streamed through the corporate suites in a nightmare scenario reminding one of the worst days of Apple. Ousted HP CEO Leo Apotheker must take the blame, a former webOS head said.
HP will be releasing its own would-be iPad killer on Friday. Called the HP Touchpad, it’s the first tablet running webOS 3, the tablet-sized operating system HP picked up from Palm last year. But what is the critical consensus? Is the HP Touchpad a viable competitor to the iPad?
Across the board, the answer is no, but most critics agree that six months from now, webOS 3 — if not the Touchpad itself — could be a viable threat to iPad. Right now, though, the HP Touchpad is unpolished and messy.
Here’s the only review of the HP Touchpad you need, glommed together from the Internet’s gadget blogging hivemind.
This render is supposed to be Hewlett-Packard/Palm’s upcoming web tablet — or rather, two tablets.
According to Engadget, HP/Palm is working on a pair of tablets for launch February 9 and available later this year, likely September.
There’s a 9-inch webOS tablet codenamed Topaz and a 7-inch model named Opal, which will be pitched as an e-reader.
They feature a front-facing camera, micro USB port and a Touchstone back for wireless charging. There may be versions for different carriers: WiFi-only, AT&T 3G, and Verizon LTE in September; AT&T LTE in July 2012.
Most interestingly, the tabs are buttonless. There’s no Home button. The Home button is something that Apple is also interested in doing away with — and Apple has just introduced system-wide multitouch gestures in the latest iOS beta.