Who Really Invented the Smartphone?

In an interview with Charlie Rose Wednesday night, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) CEO Paul Jacobs surprised viewers when he revealed that back in the ’90s, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) rejected his suggestion of putting a Qualcomm radio in the Newton PDA. So instead, he took his idea to Palm, which resulted in the device known as the Qualcomm PDQ.

The PDQ might well be considered the very first smartphone, combining cell phone capabilities with a mobile operating system — and yet, most people have never even heard of it. Apple is typically credited with this milestone, thanks to the iPhone and the fact that Palm is now the software company GRAM.

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Regardless, the timing of Jacobs’ revelation comes just in time to promote his upcoming Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, where he will be taking over the opening keynote speaker spot previously held by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer.