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Apple CEO Steve Jobs reportedly made a possibly illegal proposal to Palm in 2007 that the companies stop hiring each other's employees. Palm reportedly refused.  (Source: Sydney Morning Herald)
Palm's leader says that the deal is "wrong" and "probably illegal"

When it comes to hardware, Apple only has one legitimate competitor in the smart phone market -- Palm.  Palm's Pre is the only smartphone besides the iPhone to support multi-touch, and its also the only other smartphone to be able to be able to easily sync with iTunes.  Both of these assets reportedly came thanks in part to the inside knowledge former Apple engineers brought to Palm.

Apple, which has poached employees employees from Palm in the past (including during the development of the various iPods and iPhone), nonetheless, was not to happy about the launch of the Pre.  It tried to block the phone out of iTunes only to see Palm outmaneuver it again and let the Pre back in

Back in 2007, Apple's Chief Executive Office, Steve Jobs, reached out to former Palm CEO Ed Colligan and proposed a moratorium on the two companies stealing each other's employees.  Mr. Colligan reportedly rejected Mr. Job's proposal, saying that it was not only wrong, but "probably illegal". 

Palm's smartphone team is headed by Jon Rubinstein, a former Apple veteran who had headed the company's pivotal iPod unit.  Mr. Rubenstein was promoted to Palm's CEO in June, succeeding Mr. Colligan.

Steve Jobs would not comment on whether he proposed a secret arrangement with Palm.  He would only say that Apple has more patents and money than Palm if the companies go to war legally.  He perhaps was referring to Apple's patent on multi-touch technology, which it has threatened to sue Palm and others with in the past.

If Mr. Jobs did propose such an arrangement, it appears it would likely be illegal.  According to Donald Russell, an antitrust lawyer who worked at the Justice Department for more than two decades before going into private practice in Washington, "It's a form of competition that is usually protected by antitrust laws that prohibit agreements that restrict competition."

Apple and Palm, according to a Reuters source, are under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for collusion in hiring.  Neither company would acknowledge that they were being investigated, though.

If Apple did reach out to Palm for such an arrangement, it would also have been a rather ironic move as Apple itself has poached employees from many other tech giants over the years.  Most recently, Apple hired IBM's Mark Papermaster to replace the departing Tony Faddell as iPod team leader.  IBM fought the move, saying Mr. Papermaster violated the terms of his contract.  Apple and IBM have since reached a settlement, allowing Mr. Papermaster to go to work at Apple.

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RE: apple
By retrospooty on 8/20/2009 9:57:22 AM , Rating: 2
"i seriously hate apple more and more every day. god i hope they get owned off the face of the earth by microsoft, google, and palm "

Dont say that... We need Apple. As much as I hate them adn the weenies that buy their stuff, they do serve a purpose.

1. If not for OSX and a potential alternative - would MS bothr fixing vista to release Win7 ? They would simply stop innovatiing or half assed innovate like they did after XP was released.

2. Competition keeps prices low.

3. Like it or not the iPhone changed the smartphone industry - the iphone was a below average phone with a fantastic screen and state of the are UI- they made everyone else raise thier game on the UI.

RE: apple
By Farfignewton on 8/20/2009 6:04:33 PM , Rating: 3
1. If not for OSX and a potential alternative - would MS bothr fixing vista to release Win7 ?

Why wouldn't they? Have they become allergic to taking my money every few years? Neither Apple or Linux are going to get it regardless.

RE: apple
By Smilin on 8/21/2009 9:58:38 AM , Rating: 3

You have to realize that Microsoft's #1 competitor is Microsoft. If they don't improve nobody will upgrade.

RE: apple
By michael2k on 8/21/2009 4:08:00 PM , Rating: 2
Um, when your OS comes bundled on 90%+ of all PCs it's hard to claim that Microsoft is competing with itself. They get paid no matter if they release Win7 tomorrow or next year.

RE: apple
By Smilin on 8/23/2009 2:23:36 AM , Rating: 2
They get paid no matter if they release Win7 tomorrow or next year.

What company wants to invest in a product and not get paid until next year?

The number #1 competition for Windows 7 is Windows XP, followed by Windows Vista, followed by MacOSX and Linux distros.

RE: apple
By totallycool on 8/21/2009 1:00:21 PM , Rating: 2
So you are under the impression that the MAIN competitor for Windows Vista/7 is OS X?

In that case you are sadly mistaken, the biggest competitor that microsoft has for Vista/7 is 'Windows XP'. Remember, many of us believe in the mantra of 'Dont fix it, if it ain't broke'.

PS. A request to everyone, please don't turn this into a Vista/7 Vs XP thread, that horse has been beaten to death and beyond.

RE: apple
By retrospooty on 8/23/2009 12:13:24 PM , Rating: 2
"So you are under the impression that the MAIN competitor for Windows Vista/7 is OS X?"

Uhh.. no, where did I say that?

What I said was competition forces innovation. After MS released XP they sat back and rested on their laurels for several years, without really trying to innovate. 5 years after XP realasing Vista was the result. Vista got such bad press and a horrible reception (deserved or not, its a marketing flop). Windows 7 is what happens when MS tries.

My point is simply this... When MS has no reason to try they dont try too hard. When they do try they accomplish much. Innovation is a good thing and without Mac's, PC would be less than they are today, and more expensive.

RE: apple
By retrospooty on 8/23/2009 12:14:11 PM , Rating: 2
edit / competition is a good thing.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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