A senior HP technologist has given credit to the iPhone , saying it "challenges other companies." Phil McKinney, chief technology officer of HP 's Personal Systems Group, said that Apple deserved praise for what it was doing with its so-called 'breakthrough' device.

"You have to give credit where credit is due, said McKinney. "What Apple is doing is quite impressive...Steve has done has a lot of passion for the product, for the consumer."

Speaking of challenges facing the new device, McKinney referred to "the complexity challenge of delivering it," before adding "I hope they're successful."

McKinney was speaking at this week's HP Labs event in Lisbon attended by Tech.co.uk, where he was holding a future-gazing session. Although he didn't refer to the iPhone during his slide presentation, McKinney did indicate that it fitted his suggestion of so-called 'strong-specific' mobile devices in the near future.

By strong-specific, McKinney is abandoning the previously generally suggested model of 'one-size-fits-all devices. Instead, we'll choose things to carry with us that do one or two things very well.

"There is a large market out there that has never bought a PC. We believe we can simplify technology [with these devices]," said McKinney. Read more of McKinney's future-gazing from HP Labs in our feature story .