Palm’s Jon Rubinstein: “This time next year, you’ll see us in a very different position”

While Palm didn’t announce anything at the Web 2.0 Summit that’s taking place this week in San Francisco, Jon Rubinstein, the head of the new organization that is now a part of HP, had some choice words to share:

“Palm created the PDA (personal digital assistant) space with the Pilot and the smartphone space after it with the Treo, so by birthright, Palm should have owned the smartphone market, but it just lost its way. It’s a very similar story to what happened with Apple.”

When asked about why he green lighted the merger with HP, he answered: “We needed more resources. We could not compete in a fashion that would allow us to be one of the premier companies in the marketplace. And HP needed a strong mobile strategy around which they could innovate–one that would allow them to control their own furture and not rely on the kindness of strangers.”

The “kindness” he seems to be referring to is Google’s Android operating system, which while technically open source, is really just a neat and tidy little package that companies take and bundle on their hardware with hopes that people buy their handset because it has X, Y, Z features and comes in A, B, C colors.

Finally, when asked about where Jon sees the company going, he says: “We’ve got some great products in the works. Some smartphones, a great tablet coming. I think we have several products that will be hits when they come out … Everyone forgets, we just closed this acquisition in July … This time next year, you’ll see us in a very different position.”

I’ve got to admit, if Palm came out with a new device tomorrow that ran the old Palm OS, and updated the Palm Desktop software to run on today’s modern operating systems, and stuck it in a gorgeous body, I’d buy it. Something about that old OS just brings back such fond memories. It worked. Period. It was also so easy that anyone could use it.

Must. Not. Buy. Treo 680. Off. eBay.

Update: Another quote, this time via EE Times: “If you are a webOS aficionado out there, be patient. The pool of webOS devices is going to grow very dramatically over the next 12 to 18 months.”

  • Goalgunner

    I think that Jon Rubinstein has a very selective view of Palm’s history. In no way could they be considered the creators of the pda or smartphone space. Certainly they popularised the pda space and were one of the pioneers.
    I often think that this rewriting of history does no one any good – they need to concentrate on delivering modern products that match the expectation of current users (or hopefully exceed it) not dwell on percieved past glories

  • That girl in the pink was looking forward to the Palm Pre as an iPhone killer. But after she saw it, well, that was her reaction.

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