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Former Apple exec Jon Rubinstein, who ushered in the iMac and iBook, was recruited by Palm in mid-July to help pull the company out from under Apple's Birkenstocks and RIM's wingtips. The flailing smartphone maker certainly needs someone to inject something into its product lineup that is, as CEO Ed Colligan concedes, perceived as stale. (Treo, Treo, Treo!) Too bad it didn't happen sooner. Yesterday it was confirmed Palm will have a wave of layoffs, rumored to be in the hundreds, in the next few weeks. Why?

Because an unspecified product didn't meet with a carrier's approval. Palm blames the misstep for a $30 million hit to this quarter's projected revenues). Rubinstein's influence may take years to find its way into actual phones. No consolation for those without jobs in the short term.