Management Changes at Palm, Apple

Palm and Apple have both recently announced changes to their senior management line-up.

Changes at Palm

Last week PalmInfoCenter was reporting that Palm’s SVP of Global Markets, John Hartnett was leaving Palm. This week, Palm’s website shows that Jeff Devine has filled the vacancy as Palm’s new SVP of Global Operations. (Note the subtle title change.)

According to the Palm website:

“Jeff Devine is responsible for creating and sustaining a competitive advantage for Palm by developing a global supply-chain model that delivers best-in-class performance in areas such as product introduction, quality, total cost, and delivery.

Jeff joined Palm from Nokia, where he served as vice president of Global Customer Logistics, responsible for a diverse global team located in more than 45 countries. He spent 13 years at Nokia in a wide range of roles, including four years heading operations and logistics for the Americas, and a prior role leading Nokia’s Sales and Marketing for AT&T Wireless. Earlier in his career, Jeff helped start up a new Boeing Electronics facility focused on high-performance teams, and was a production manager at Texas Instruments. “

Changes at Apple

Reuters is reporting this morning that Apple’s SVP of the iPod division, Tony Fadell, is ‘leaving the company citing personal reasons but may remain as a consultant.”

According to the Apple website:

“Fadell joined Apple as the first member of its iPod hardware engineering team in 2001 and was promoted to vice president of iPod engineering in 2004. He became senior vice president of the iPod Division in April 2006.

Prior to joining Apple, Fadell was a cofounder, CTO, and director of engineering of the Mobile Computing Group at Philips Electronics where he was responsible for all aspects of business and product development for a variety of products. Tony later became VP of business development for Philips U.S. Strategy & Ventures focused on building the company’s digital media strategy & investment portfolio. Prior to joining Philips, Fadell was a hardware and software architect at General Magic.”

At this time, no announcement has been made as to who might replace Mr. Fadell at Apple.

Did Apple Almost Buy Palm?

I just saw this over at with a link over to MediaBistro:

“According to Jean-Louis Gasse it almost happened in 1997.

In the Summer of 1997, Steve Jobs called Eric Benhamou, 3Com’s CEO (the company owned Palm). Give me the Palm and come and join my Board of Directors. Only Apple can make Palm a true consumer brand. Nothing happened. Apple’s foray into the product segment had to wait ten more years.

Now that would have been interesting. Palm devices from the 90s with an Apple twist. Of course with Jon Rubenstein now running the show at Palm, we might find out just what things might have looked like if Apple did acquire Palm.”

Wow, I don’t know what to make of that. I don’t know if I’d say that Palm became a consumer brand, but it did become a household term. Palm, or the “Palm Pilot” became the “Scotch tape” and “Kleenex” of PDAs and later smartphones. At any rate, this is all water under the bridge.

Worldwide Newton Confernece?!

I was reading the December 2008 MacWorld Magazine and I was shocked to discover that a group of devoted owners of the long since canceled Apple Newton Message Pad will be holding a user’s conference in 2009.

“Worldwide Newton Conference 2009! Since the Newton is still going strong, as is the NTLK list, and since there are some interesting developments still underway for the Newton platform, a WWNC for 2009 is in order. It will be a 3 day event, and will be held from Friday, 31 July, 2009 – Sunday, 2 August, 2009 in downtown Vancouver, BC, Canada. The Sunday following the event, from 9 am – afternoon, is reserved for open discussion in relation to the topics previously discussed. The location is close to an Apple Store. The event is sponsored by European Fritz, purveyors of Poutine.

What will be covered during the event? After some discussion with NTLK list members, and since time continues to press on, this event will revolve around a “moving forward” theme: how to keep the Newton active and relevant as time continues to press forward.”

OK, I like the Newton as much as the next guy, heck, I even own a Message Pad 2000, but a worldwide user’s conference? If you’re a Newton user who is willing to part with the coin to travel up to Vancouver, BC, Canada this coming July, check out the link below for more details.

WWNC 2009 Home

New Name, Expanding Smartphone Coverage

Today is both an ending and a beginning. After long and careful deliberation, it is time to say goodbye to “Foleo Fanatics.” In the year since Palm canceled the Foleo Mobile Companion it has become increasingly evident that the Foleo, in it’s original configuration and name, will never be released.

The Foleo unit that I was able to use, even for a short while, showed amazing potential and I’m still looking for something to replace it.

However, the time has come to look beyond the Foleo and, starting today, Foleo Fanatics has become Smartphone Fanatics.

Smartphone Fanatics will continue where Foleo Fanatics has left off, providing you with the same great coverage of the Palm user community. We also plan on expanding our coverage beyond Palm’s products. Moving forward, look for increasing coverage of Windows Mobile devices from great vendors like High Tech Computng (HTC). We will also be covering the exciting new BlackBerry smartphones coming out of Research In Motion (RIM). And, lastly, we also plan to cover everybody’s favorite entertainment device, the Apple iPhone.

Welcome to Smartphone Fanatics!

Alan Grassia

More Thoughts on the Mobile Companion

I just posted the latest 1SRC Editorial in which I continue the discussion of my quest for a replacement for the Palm Foleo. While we wait for the Foleo II to be developed, I’ve been thinking about the growing number of alternative devices that are on the market or near to release.

Here is the punch line for those who like to skip to the back of the book first.

“I think it is clear that if Palm had shipped the Foleo back in September I would have happily plugging away with it. I hope that Palm will go back and redesign the Foleo once Palm OS II/Nova ships early in 2009. That said, I still believe in the idea that the Foleo represents even if I can’t buy one.

Other vendors have capitalized on the splash that Palm made in May during the All Things D announcement. I’ve read and hear good things about the Asus Eee PC. The Everex CloudBook looks like it will be a full-featured machine. The Apple MacBook Air is full featured and has the sex appeal to sell the device on looks alone, but it is far too pricey for the average user to consider getting one as a second machine. Mac gear heads and professionals will no doubt be buying them. And that leaves the rumored HP Compaq 2133. If the photos that Engadget posted are in fact authentic, the 2133 will be a good-looking machine. We are a little light on the product specs at this point, but if the hardware is going to run Vista, it has to be more powerful than the other Linux/Windows options. (You aren’t running the Arrow interface on hardware done on the cheap.) Would the Compaq 2133 be a value at the Foleo’s retail price of $600? I’d like to see a new Foleo and the Compaq 2133 both shipping in the $400 price range. Now let’s see if Palm and HP can deliver.”

So there it is. If I end up getting one of these Foleo alternatives (No, I’m not letting go of the Foleo, damn it!), it will likely be the HP Compaq 2133. Depending on the final pricing, I might be able to get a few for the office and legitimize my use of something other than my company issued Dell Latitude D630.