Rumors of the Newton's resurrection
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Rumors of the Newton's resurrection

You can read the details at the rumor site, but the gist is that the modern day Newton project will, like the iPhone and the iPod touch, run an embedded version of Mac OS X" and will "leverage multi-touch concepts which have yet to gain widespread adoption in Apple's existing multi-touch products -- the iPhone and iPod touch -- like drag-and-drop and copy-and-paste."

If AppleInsider is right, it will be an interesting turn as it was Steve Jobs himself who put a gun to the head of the original Newton and pulled the trigger. You can read more about the Newton [url=http://www.macsimumnews.com/index.php/archive/the_newton_legacy_a_brief_history_of_the_newton]here[/url].

Also, PDA sales have been all over the place in recent times. Three to four years ago PDA sales were slumping as more buyers seemed interested in devices that include cell phone features. For example, handheld device vendors shipped 2.2 million units in the first quarter of 2004, down 11.7 percent from the first quarter of 2003, and 33.1 percent off the fourth quarter of 2003.

However, driven by demand for wireless devices, PDA sales picked up in 2005. Worldwide PDA sales during the first quarter of 2005 totaled 3.4 million units, compared to sales of 2.7 million during the same period last year, according to the Gartner Research Group. The 25-percent gain in shipments was the largest ever percentage gain for PDA sales during the first quarter (and Gartner didn't count sales of smart phones).

But in the year between the second quarter of 2006 and the second quarter of 2007, [url=http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070813-pda-sales-drop-by-40-percent-in-a-single-year-vendors-bolt-for-exit.html]PDAs saw an 43.5 percent decrease[/url] in worldwide shipments, and no more than a million devices were sold in the quarter, according to the IDC research group. In addition to the year-over-year drop, sales of PDAs dropped off about 20 percent from the first quarter of the year. This year Dell and Fujitsu-Siemens exited the PDA business.

So some might question the wisdom in reviving (or re-inventing) the Newton at this stage of the game. However, it's very possible that Apple isn't going to position such a device (if, indeed, one is coming) as a PDA but as an "Ultra-Mobile Portable Device" (UMPD). This is a whole new class of “always-on” Internet-connected products that will become popular over the next five years, according to a new report from ABI Research. Some folks have previously speculated that Apple plans to enter this arena. By appealing to a wide range of buyers UMDs will reach shipments of nearly 95 million units by 2012, and should prove extremely profitable for their makers, according to ABI.

If and when the Newton arrives, it will doubtless bear a different name as the original device was then-Apple CEO John Sculley's baby and current CEO Steve Jobs will doubtless want his stamp on any new device.

The rumor of the Newton's return also begs another question: will the Cube get another shot as well?

Naw, probably not.

 
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