CNet Asia Interviews Ed Colligan
CNet Asia has published an interview with palmOne President Ed Colligan while on a recent business trip to Singapore. He talks about the recent alternative OS rumors, handheld and smartphone competition as well as palmOne's China situation.
The full CNet interview is posted here. While he doesn't speak on future products, he does comment on a number of recent rumors and competition in the handheld market.
How do you decide what features and form you use in your smart phones?
I think these products are by far the hardest to design of anything I've ever been a part of. When you do mobile products, there are a series of tradeoffs between all the different features, form factors, battery life, complexity, screen real estate. You need to tradeoff a lot of them to make great winning products that people really love to use and want to carry with them anywhere. You see a lot of products that come to market with just a little something wrong with them. It doesn't take a lot to make it not successful.
Some people suggest that Palm is lagging on the technology curve. Do you accept that?
I probably would have accepted that a year ago. I think the category defining products in this space are at PalmOne. You read any review of any smart phone and the Treo 650 wins. So I don't accept that premise.
I think the Tungsten T5 is very creative and trying to change the way handheld computers are viewed, too. Most of them are glorified organizers. That's fine. We're trying to do something different here where we create a very high capacity device that will allow people to carry their most important digital information with them. I think that will be a new trend in handhelds, and we're starting that trend in motion.
What is this we hear about PalmOne looking at other operating systems?
We recently split from PalmSource. As part of that, one of the premises was that we could develop on other operating systems, and they could license to a broader set of people. So every time we ever do a new design, we don't really look at the technology first. We try to look at what the user's going to want, and if there are opportunities in the market.
So we consistently look at other operating systems. That doesn't mean we're going to ship products on them. So we've had a very long history with the Palm OS. It's served us extremely well in the marketplace. There are tens of thousands of developers, and lots of applications on it, and we think it's great. We're going to stick with that for now, and if we decide to move to other operating systems, I'm sure we'll communicate that to you at the time.
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