Palm CEO: What’s an iPhone?

Comments recently made by Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein at this year’s CES in Las Vegas point to a corporate rivalry of epic proportions. In an interview with All Things Digital, Rubinstein apparently claimed he’s never used an iPhone– a comment likely to inflame Apple fanboys the world over as Palm readies itself to launch the Palm Pre Plus later this month.

‘We don’t pay that much attention to Apple,’ Rubinstein claimed. ‘I know it sounds really strange.”

Rubinstein has been described by many as the “father of the iPod” after having been senior vice president of Apple’s iPod division until early 2006.

‘I don’t have an iPhone. Actually, I’ve never used one,’ he said, refuting doubts expressed by the interviewer. True or not, Rubinstein’s comments have caught the attention of the international press, many taking it as a direct attack against his former employers, others a bit of a cheeky swipe against a current competitor.

Either way, it’s unlikely that all at Palm are so ignorant of Apple’s popular device. Researchers on both sides, we’re sure, are following the competition closely, as dismissive as their executives may be.