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The Pre maker is loading up with ex-Apple talent, potentially fermenting the brewing rivalry between the companies.
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Palm 'Pre' Smartphone
Palm has hired another former Apple employee, as the company said Jeff Zwerner will be Palm's senior VP of brand design.
According to Palm, Zwerner will be working with Palm's global advertising, marketing communications, public relations, events, and Web design. He had two stints at Apple as senior art director and creative director of packaging, and he's also worked for companies like Hewlett-Packard, Coca-Cola, Gap, and Disney.
Palm and Apple are geographically very close to each other, so the companies are generally hiring from the same talent pool. But as Palm is attempting to make a comeback in the smartphone space, it appears to be especially well-stocked with ex-Apple talent.
Palm's CEO Jon Rubinstein retired from Apple in 2005 as head of its red-hot iPod division, and he has spent the last two years developing the webOS operating system and the Pre smartphone. Other ex-Apple employees at Palm include senior VP of product development Mike Bell, public relations head Lynn Fox, and board member Fred Anderson.
Palm's touch-screen Pre is directly gunning for the iPhone crowd, but so far the iPhone is outselling it by a wide margin. The growing rivalry has led to some public spats over the Pre's ability to use iTunes to manage and sync media files. Palm shipped their flagship handset with the ability to be recognized as an iPod in iTunes, Apple disabled this with a software update, and Palm re-enabled it with a Pre firmware update. Palm has even filed a claim with the USB Implementers Forum to try and get Apple to open up its multimedia software.
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