Company To Release Palm-Sized Fully Functional Computer Reportedly Rejected By Steve Jobs

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Business 2.0 has published a very interesting article about a company called OQO. OQO is working on what it calls an Ultrapersonal computer, a fully functional computer the size of a deck of cards. Note thatis about the same size as an iPod, too. The device plugs into a docking station which includes support for an external monitor, as well as FireWire and USB ports. The product, including the docking station, will retail for under US$1500.

What makes this particularly interesting to Mac Observers is that the companyis founder is a former Apple engineer who approached Apple CEO Steve Jobs with the idea. According to Business 2.0, Mr. Jobs rejected it, which led to Mr. Bell leaving Apple and forming OQO. From Business 2.0:

Within weeks of leaving his job at Apple Computer (AAPL) in 1999 -- as a lead developer for Appleis PowerBooks -- Jory Bell pitched his former boss, Steve Jobs, his killer idea: a portable PC slightly bigger than a deck of cards that would pack all the punch of a high-end laptop, cost less than $1,500, and give Apple a chance to license its operating system to a product that could render traditional handhelds like the Palm Pilot obsolete.

Jobs didnit go for it, so Bell, 34, went to find some investors who would. By this holiday season, his San Francisco-based startup, OQO, will begin selling his dream machine, called the Ultrapersonal computer. If it takes off, Bell will have trumped not just Apple, but IBM (IBM) too. Hereis why: Just 4 inches tall and weighing in at a scant 9 ounces, the Ultrapersonal is the first product to market in the emerging category of modular computing. IBM has been working on a similar micro PC, the Meta Pad, for four years, but still wonit say when it will be released.

There is more information in the article about IBMis competing technology, and other related information; itis a good read. Apple spokespersons were not immediately available to respond to our requests for confirmation on these issues.

You can find more information about OQO at that companyis Web site.

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