Tuesday, Dec 05, 2006
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An Apple phone? Palm CEO says, `What, me worry?'

By Sarah Jane Tribble and Dean Takahashi
Mercury News

IS APPLE SERIOUS COMPETITION?: Palm CEO Ed Colligan seems downright nonchalant about rumors that Apple may introduce a mobile phone to market in the coming year.

Responding to questions from New York Times correspondent John Markoff at a Churchill Club breakfast gathering Thursday morning, Colligan laughed off the idea that any company -- including the wildly popular Apple Computer -- could easily win customers in the finicky smart-phone sector.

``We've learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,'' he said. ``PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in.''

What if Steve Jobs' company did bring an iPod phone to market? Well, it would probably use WiFi technology and could be distributed through the Apple stores and not the carriers like Verizon or Cingular, Colligan theorized.

ON YOUR MARK, SET, GO! It was hard not to laugh Friday morning at the Joint Venture Silicon Valley folks trying to build a free and affordable wireless network that would cover 1,500 square miles in Silicon Valley.

Joint Venture President and CEO Russell Hancock stood in front of about 40 city leaders and workers from IBM and Cisco waving checkered race car flags.

``On your mark, set, go!'' Hancock said, waving the flags wildly to signal that the project was off and running. Everyone laughed.

The group is about 50 percent finished negotiating a model agreement that can be used by area municipalities to work with the Metro Connect team of IBM, Cisco Systems, Azulstar and SeaKay. They hope to work fast, building four small concept sites early next year where they can show off the wireless network.

PUTTING THE PS 3 IN PERSPECTIVE Norman Edwards always wants to be the first guy on his block to get a new video game console. Last year, the 34-year-old Brentwood resident was first in line to get an Xbox 360 at Microsoft's Zero Hour event in an aircraft hangar in the Mojave Desert. This year, he showed up to be among the first to buy a PlayStation 3 at Sony's PlayStation store at the Metreon complex in San Francisco.

But Edwards wasn't quite fast enough to be No. 1 this year. The electrician was No. 7 in line at the Sony event because he took time out to run an errand.

``I took my daughter to school,'' he said. ``She's 9. That's more important than video games.''

After more than 38 hours in line, Edwards walked off with his PS 3. His first thought: He might sell it on eBay, if the price is right.

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