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Apple rumoured to be prepping a Tablet PC

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.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.