Jon Rubinstein, Palm leader and currently HP executive, at the Web 2.0 Summit, said that his company should have been the leader of the smartphone market. Palm was among the first in the category and had established PDAs with the Palm Pilot. It entered into smartphones early with its Treo, but soon let others catch up. Rubinstein likened the position he had in 2007 to what Steve Jobs face at Apple about ten years earlier, in 1996 and 1997, when he had as a primordial goal to fix what years of mistakes had produced.
Rubinstein said that by birthright, Palm should have led the market, but it simply lost its way and the situation was similar to what happened with Apple.
An important part of the company’s history beginning with 2000, implied only minor and incremental updates to the Treo smartphones as well as to PalmOS, which sold off to Access. Palm tried to modernize its products by choosing Windows Mobile, but has been quickly defeated because other platforms, including Apple, took significant share from Microsoft. Rubinstein had to drop some established employees and also launch a massive hiring spree. Many new employees were former workers from Apple and in s few cases they have even worked on the iPhone.
As for the future, Rubinstein did not give any details but made allusion to the PalmPad and some new smartphones. He warned all critics of the current state of Palm that Hewlett Packard had only closed the buyout of Palm in July. He said that the company would be in a totally different position next year.