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Wednesday, November 22, 2006, 12:00 pm PT (03:00 pm ET)

Palm CEO brushes off Apple cell phone threat

Palm chief executive Ed Colligan doesn't plan on losing any sleep over rumors that iPod maker Apple Computer is on the verge of breaching the cell phone market with a new handset device.

Responding to questions at a Churchill Club breakfast gathering last Thursday, Colligan reportedly "laughed off the idea" that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company would experience any immediate success in delivering a device to the fastidious smart phone market.

"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.''

Asked what to expect if Apple indeed were to deliver an iPod phone to market, Colligan theorized the device would likely employ WiFi and be sold through the company's retail chain rather than carriers like Verizon or Cingular.

Over the course of the last month, Apple is reported to have released its first mobile handset to contract manufacturers while it continues to work feverishly on a second device with additional collaborative capabilities.