During the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, earlier this year, Palm took the media by surprise by announcing its webOS and accompanying Pre mobile phone. The interface of Palm's new operating system obviously bore resemblance to Apple's iPhone operating system, and the phone also comes with multitouch (as opposed to an ordinary touch screen that most touchy-feely phones come with today). It seems like Apple isn't really pleased by this one.
When Tim Cook, Apple's CEO while Steve Jobs is recovering from his health issues, was asked about competitors to the iPhone, such as Android and the Palm Pre, Cook replied "We like competition, as long as they don't rip off our [intellectual property], and if they do, we're going to go after anyone who does." When asked specifically about the Palm Pre, Cook reiterated Apple's position:
Let's translate these words into something we can all understand. No, Apple isn't currently planning any legal action against Palm. However, Palm better not infringe on any iPhone patents when Palm launches the Pre, because Apple is ready and willing to take such a case to courts.
I find this a rather curious statement. There have been numerous phones out in the market already, including Android, that have taken several cues from the iPhone - some even go as far as to more or less copy the entire device. Still, Apple hasn't undertaken any action. Now that Palm comes along - they suddenly start chest thumping. Does this indicate that contrary to other phones, Apple sees the Pre as an actual threat to the iPhone's success?
It will be interesting to see where this leads to, that's for sure.