Steve Jobs Asked Palm Not To Hire Apple Employees

Two years ago, Apple had turned the collective smartphone market on it’s ear with the release of the Apple iPhone. At the time, Palm was struggling to get their next generation OS project on track and dealing with an aging product line. In June of 2007, Apple launched the iPhone. To help with this revolutionary new product, Apple had hired 2% of Palm’s employees, clearly to gain insight into years of working with smartphones. Palm had just hired Jon Rubinstein, who is well known for his contributions to the iPod”. It was at this juncture that Steve Jobs reportedly reached out to Palm and asked them to refrain from hiring each other’s staff.

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Palm’s CEO Ed Colligan, to his credit, refused and in so many words said,

“Your proposal that we agree that neither company will hire the other’s employees, regardless of the individual’s desires, is not only wrong, it is likely illegal.”

Bloomberg states that Jobs said, “We must do whatever we can to stop this.” He went on to say that Apple had more patents and money than Palm, if Palm were to consider a legal fight.

So why are these coming to light two years after the fact? Bloomberg apparently received the communications from a Palm spokesperson, in a move that many see as posturing as the US Department of Justice investigates collusion practices between Apple, Google and others. Clearly, there is no collusion between Palm and Apple. This latest volley won’t curry Palm any favor with Jobs, so we can expect the battle to rage on.

[via Engadget]

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