Apple might not be releasing a Personal Digital Assistant à la Newton anytime soon, but according to insider sources from Taiwanese Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) Asus, the company is helping Apple building a tablet PC (opens in new tab).
Asus is one of the companies who builds Apple laptops (Macbooks, ibooks, Powerbooks) for Apple and it makes sense that they would manufacture a tablet PC (which is just a touch screen laptop with/without a keyboard).
However there are a few issues that need to be ironed out first: most important of all is why build a tablet PC? Microsoft has had a nasty experience with tablet PCs which were hailed as the next big thing.
Apple has already got a complete range of mobile computers ranging from the minuscule iPhone to the 17-inch Powerbooks.
Secondly, Apple has failed before with the Newton. Granted this was 13 years ago at a time when Apple was an altogether different company but old demons never die.
Could that actually be a Wireless Smart display rather than a tablet PC on its own.
But Steve Jobs' Apple is not Microsoft and the latter's Origami project was a failure mainly because Microsoft failed to understand its customers and partners.
Apple doesn't have such a problem. It has no partners and is an expert at understanding its customers - see the iPod and the iPhone.
And to spice things up, The Register wrote an interesting article back in August 2004, where they point to a design trademark filed by Apple (opens in new tab) which strangely ressembles an LCD screen.
Back then, the manufacturer was Asus's rival Quanta and the project was presented as a Wireless Display which rings similar to Viewsonic's Airpanel V110.