RUMOR: Apple handheld device on the way?

“A few months ago, a major publication published a hint that Apple is planning to release a handheld in 2004. Now, what are supposed to be some additional details of this device have surfaced. In December of last year, a writer for eWeek said that he had ‘heard of an Apple prototype making the rounds in Silicon Valley.’ He gave no other details, though,” Ed Hardy reports for BrightHand.

“This week, John Manzione from Mac NET v2 published what he says is a description of Apple’s upcoming handheld… Apparently it will use a clamshell design, with the screen on one side and keyboard on the other… the screen can be rotated around and closed over the keyboard, allowing the device to be used as a tablet… it will use Apple’s Inkwell for handwriting recognition,” Hardy reports. “It will support both QuickTime and MPEG4. With an internal hard drive giving it far more storage capacity that typical handhelds, Apple could be planning to position the device as a portable video player that also functions as a PDA.”

Hardy reports, “Supposedly, Apple’s handheld will have FireWire, USB, and Bluetooth. Of course it will be able to synchronize with iCal, Mail, Address Book etx. on an OS X Mac, but Mr. Manzione reports that iSync with Windows will be available, too.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Apple PDA is the rumor that will not die, it seems. Maybe they’ve gotten the year right this year?


  1. A PDA or similar device (i.e. HP 4350) may be a handy device for some folks and in some situations. Never used either one myself. Perhaps there is more collaboration between Apple and HP than just the iPod.

    Regardless, I would hope that such a device would not be a copycat item, but something a bit more radical and innovative than the usual PDA or Pocket PC�s.

    Any clues what this device would be called?

  2. I’ve just had a scary thought. What if Apple are returning the HiPod favour by rebranding and selling the iPaq???

    I think the traditional response is NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo……

  3. Dave H:

    I cannot imagine Apple re-branding HP�s iPaq. Apple’s success is in innovation of design and technology, integration of form and function. It would seem incongruous for Apple not to offer the consumer something significantly new and different. However, it is possible that the success of the iPod may convince HP to incorporate other Apple devices for their PC customers IF they also prove to be as great a sensation as the iPod.

  4. Personally I’m not going to get excited over this one, as I don’t value Manzione’s articles very highly, as he (used to be, have avoided his sight for a while now) tends to write articles like “Steve Jobs sucks and should go ‘coz he lacks vision, my vision is Apple should do just like Dell” and has abused Mac related articles for political rantings (the Mac’s like Bush???!!????!!!, please!!!!!!). On top of that we’ve been getting new PDA rumors with clockwork regularity, all with the same sort of “oh look, they’ve got inkwell!” credibility. Of course, if they were to make a PDA it would have to be leagues better than the current crop, it would have to be something people would actually want to use!

  5. Sounds like OS X on the go. If it plays video it might even use a dedicated graphics chip. It certainly could use one if iTunes is to run on it.

    Now what’s this business about Palm dropping OS X support due to a conflict of interest? Palm offers flash-memory based PDAs. Apple will introduce the hard-drive to the PDA market, something which Palm has not offered yet. So there is no conflict of interest. Palm can continue to sell flash-memory PDAs while Apple utilises hard drives and FireWire in its portable devices.

  6. Im glad I didnt buy a new Palm recently, I was surprised to hear Palm dropping Mac support. If this is true Im stoked, Im not sure what I would use the video capabilty for though, but I would like a more feature laden isync and ical in conjunction with a new device.

  7. I personally find this very interesting in light of Palm’s recent announcement to drop OS X support.

    I can’t help but wonder if Apple (due to some business relationship/agreement) let certain people at Palm know that an Apple PDA was coming and wasn’t going to use the Palm OS.

    If this is true it might have been the catalyst for Palm dropping their support of OS X.

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