Apple Newton, take 2?

I had to rub my eyes when I saw this item from Techmeme, and Apple Insider: Up next for Apple: the return of the Newton.

That's right, the Newton. Apple's 90's-era PDA that ranks up there with other consumer technology failures like the IBM PC Jr. and Beenz.

Here's the scoop on the supposed plans for a next-generation Apple PDA:

... It appears that Jobs and Co. never gave up hope, and instead returned to the drawing board. For the past 18 months, well-respected sources tell AppleInsider, a small team of Apple engineers have been at it again, this time tapping the company's revolutionary multi-touch technology as a foundation.

Another piece of information worth mentioning is that this PDA will supposedly use an embedded version of OS X 10.5 Leopard.

And I don't buy any of it, unless the device is actually a next-generation iPhone or iPod that incorporates touch technology.

It's not that I don't believe in Apple, or PDAs. I own an iMac, an iPod, and I have been using PDAs for nearly ten years.

But people don't need PDAs anymore. They need mobile phones that have PDA capabilities, including an integrated address book, email, and calendar functionality. Smart phones like the Treo and iPhone already have these features and have been hits with consumers. Apple knows this, and surely wants to stay a million miles away from any comparisons with the Newton.

So while I'll be ready to ditch my Zire next year, the chances of me replacing it with a Newton II are nil. As long as I can get an affordable device that lets me sync with my desktop, save all of my existing contacts and address book data, make phone calls, and maybe even listen to music, I'll go with that option.

And that means I'll probably be getting an iPhone.

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