Apple at work on touch-screen PDA

Roughly a decade after terminating production of its Newton personal digital assistant, Apple is reportedly planning a return to the PDA market, putting the finishing touches on a touch-based device in the tradition of the iPhone and the iPod Touch. Citing sources close to the project, AppleInsider reports that the as-yet-unnamed PDA runs an embedded version of Apple's Mac OS X Leopard platform--the device is described as an ultra-thin "slate" resembling the iPhone, but at 1.5 times the size and with an approximate 720x480 high-resolution display that spans virtually the entire surface.

According to AppleInsider, Apple engineers have been at work on a PDA prototype for roughly 18 months, although the project's roots date back even earlier. During an appearance at the 2004 D: All Things Digital conference, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said he was proud of the products his firm has released in recent years, and also proud of the products it decided not to ship--asked by an audience member to elaborate, Jobs replied "An Apple PDA." Sources say the PDA development nevertheless ground to a halt as Apple pulled engineers of the project to meet its self-imposed June 2007 iPhone launch date.

Jobs is expected to officially announce the Apple PDA during his keynote Macworld appearance in January, with retail shipments to follow in mid-2008.

For more on Apple's PDA efforts:
- read this AppleInsider article

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