Palm CEO Ed Colligan appears to be more concerned about getting the Pre successfully out the door than he is about any potential patent fight that might come with Apple.
Speaking at a Thomas Weisel Partners conference yesterday, the CEO acknowledged speculation in the media but said no legal action has been taken with regards to Apple. The whole area of patents is a complex one and Palm over the years has built a patent portfolio that is one of the highest rated. “If something does happen there, we do have the portfolio to defend ourselves,” he said.
The former Handspring executive also affirmed that there will be no more Palm OS-based products going forward, focusing instead on the new Web OS featured in the Pre. In addition, the company is about to launch a new Windows Mobile product.
Colligan emphasized the strong relationship the company has built with Sprint, which will be the exclusive U.S. carrier to offer the Pre. There are more Palm users on Sprint’s network than any other.
Colligan didn’t say how long the exclusivity period will last, but he said the hope is that with a successful launch with Sprint, other carriers will take notice. He said the place where exclusivity doesn’t apply is in the rest of the world. “We’ve gotten a lot of carrier interest in the product,” and will continue to work with carriers in North America, Latin America and Europe.
The timeframe for bringing additional carriers on board is 2010, and at some point, he expects a broader product line and additional partners in North America.
He also confirmed the company will offer an over-the-air apps store and said Palm has a huge community of developers. “We are just relentlessly focused” on getting the Pre out the door.