Speaking of Dieter Bohn, Palm, and yours truly, it turns out Ed Colligan didn’t say what we thought he said about Apple’s then-imminent iPhone in December 2006. Bohn:
All of this context is in service to correcting the record on one
of Colligan’s responses. Somewhat famously, a line of his has been
quoted over and over — most often by John Gruber at Daring
Fireball in a post titled “Palm CEO Ed Colligan’s Head Seems to
be Stuck Somewhere.” He quotes the following real-time
transcription — which, as it turns out, is inaccurate:
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 smartphone 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.”
We’ve gotten the original recording of the interview — our thanks
to the Computer History Museum, which has received the
Churchill Club’s archives after it sadly had to shut down. Here’s
the actual exchange, which begins after the Apple speculation.
Colligan’s actual quote: “And so I just would caution people that think they’re going to walk in here and just and do these. We’ve struggled for a few years here, figuring out how to make a decent phone. The PC guys are not going to just, you know, knock this out. I guarantee it. So, look, welcome, let’s go for it. We can’t stop all that. It’s going to happen, but it’s going to be, I don’t think it’ll be so easy for everybody, as everybody thinks to enter it. It’s a tough space.”
Not quite as juicy as the original (para)phrasing, but the sentiment is still there. It’s good to have the actual quote on the record now.
★ Saturday, 8 January 2022