03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Apple's "Podfather" Shakes Things Up At Palm

In mid-July, as Palm Inc. was putting the finishing touches on its new $99 Centro smart phone, the gadget's development team received a stark message: It wasn't good enough.

The warning was delivered by Jon Rubinstein, a former top Apple Inc. executive who this year joined Palm as executive chairman with a directive from Palm Chief Executive Ed Colligan to shake up the struggling smart-phone maker. Mr. Rubinstein wasn't happy with the Centro's final touches, so he ordered several Palm executives to get on a plane to Asia to work more closely with the company's contract manufacturers. He asked product managers to look at details that hadn't been discussed before, such as whether the Centro's keyboard could be easily viewed in bright sunlight.

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