Palm to take on the iPhone

A report by the New York Times says Palm has hired former Apple staffer Paul Mercer to cook up a worthy rival to Apple’s upcoming iPhone. Mercer worked at Apple from 1987 until 1994, where he was lead designer of the user interface for the Macintosh System 7 operating system and worked on the failed Newton PDA as well as a number of handheld and pen-based Mac prototypes. Mercer later went on to found Pixo, a software tools company that helped Apple create the iPod’s user interface. According to a Palm spokeswoman quizzed by the New York Times, Mercer started work at Palm three weeks ago on “a line of new products.” The spokeswoman declined to elaborate on exactly what those products are, but the New York Times reckons Palm is clearly seeking to respond to the challenge the iPhone presents for Palm’s existing line of smart phones.

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