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Jon Rubinstein to Helm Palm

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Jon Rubinstein

Former Apple VP Jon Rubinstein will be shifting from his role as chairman at Palm to the company’s new CEO. As many Apple fans already know, Rubinstein was a prominent member of Steve Jobs’ core team after his original founding of NeXT in the early ’90s.

Deep Ties With Apple

When Rubinstein moved to Apple at the request of Jobs in 1997, he diligently worked to bring the PowerMac G3 to market and simplify Apple’s product line in order to help turn the company around. His first big project was the creation of the iMac where he was responsible for some of its signature features, including USB peripherals and a lack of a floppy drive.

As VP of Hardware Engineering, Rubinstein was also responsible for overseeing the production of the G4 and G5 Macintoshes and became known as the man who explained “the megahertz myth.” As Apple began to shift its marketing strategy towards putting Macs at the center of the “digital lifestyle,” Rubinstein and his team were responsible for (under the direction of Jobs) the creation of the first iPod. When the success of the iPod began to take off, Apple spun this into its own division, with Rubinstein as the vice president in charge.

Life After Apple

Rubinstein left Apple in 2006 and eventually join Palm, leading its research and development efforts. With the talent and skills he put to use while at Apple at his disposal, it’s no wonder many see his latest project, the Palm Pre, as a seductive competitor to the iPhone.

All other opinions aside, it’s interesting to note that Rubinstein joined Palm when it was at a point similar to Apple, when Jobs and Rubinstein came over from NeXT in the ’90s. On the whole, the introduction of the Palm Pre, the new Palm webOS, and the leadership of Rubinstein as the company’s new CEO, all lead towards a very interesting direction for Palm and its impact as a competitor to Apple.

4 Responses to “Jon Rubinstein to Helm Palm”

  1. You apologize for the confusion, yet you neither changed the article to be correct nor added a comment at the end, all you did was agree with me here. Not everyone reads comments — fix it!

  2. Everybody is making such a big deal about the emergence of newer and better smart phones to “challenge the iPhone” and how they’ll “erode the iPhone market”. OK… I’m a rabid Apple fanboy and if Apple makes it, chances are I’ll buy it. That being said, I’m all in favor of the ‘other guys’ coming out with the best they can offer and am truly impressed to the levels Apple has driven them. I’m ecstatic to see Apple being challenged, because I firmly believe that the #1 thing driving Apple innovation is the challenge of being the underdog and exploring new niches. The more players we see start coming out with more products as good (if not better) than the iPhone, iMac, iTunes, and iPod, the harder and more creatively the boys (and girls) in Cupertino are going to work to blow our minds. Based on their track record, I’m looking forward to an incredible next couple of years.

    Next time you scoff at the iPhone as being a “has been” or mock Apple for the “Apple tax”, consider this question: “Where would smart phones be without the iPhone… desktop computers without the iMac… portable MP3 players without the iPod… online media sales with iTunes?”

  3. Chris Ryan


    You are absolutely correct. Technically Rubinstein retired from Apple and eventually became involved in Palm a year later. I apologize for this confusion.

  4. Rubinstein did not leave Apple for Palm. He left Apple. He was recruited after he left Apple on amicable terms and had built himself a retirement house in Central America on the beach. Saying he left Apple to join Palm paints a completely different picture and this misinformation really needs to be corrected.