AppleInsider report on a rumour that Apple may be working on a new PDA type device. Supposedly 1.5 times the size of the iPhone, with a high resolution 720x480dpi screen. This next gen device could appear in the first half of 2008 and may even be announced at MacWorld in January.
So, could this really be the return of the Newton?
My take on this is that the iPhone is a very Newton-like device anyway. You can schedule calendars, make notes, text, transfer files via Wi-Fi, connect to it via BlueTooth, play music and videos, the list goes on. Of course I would like to see a device like this, and yes it would sell very well indeed, but I think we are more likely to see something a little different.
Another rumour doing the rounds is that of an ultra portable laptop, perhaps a 10-inch or 12-inch offering, very thin, still a clamshell type design, all aluminium and maybe sans hard drive. This may well come to fruition as a totally separate product, but if this Newtonesque device is true, it may well be born as somewhere between these two rumors. Let me explain...
One segment that Apple do not participate in is that of the Tablet PC. I think it unlikely for them to try a PDA device again (once bitten, twice shy), but I do think they would like to do the Tablet PC thing right. Remember the ModBook that generated so much interest, well surely this did not go under the radar of Steve Jobs. Personally, I think we will see a 10-inch, maybe 12-inch Tablet Mac, with a very thin aluminium lid to cover. Full touch screen interface like the iPhone and iPod Touch, but with a more fully fledged version of OS X. This device would allow many of us to travel around very lightly, but still have the power to complete real-world tasks. Solid state memory for storage, somewhere around the 32GB mark and maybe even a small 80GB or 160GB hard drive for saving files too, allowing the solid state to be emptied (apart from OS X of course). Maybe I am dreaming, but I think this is a lot more likely than a device that would be touted as a large iPhone.