Apple, Inc. made one of the earliest PDAs, but it withdrew from the market many years ago. Since that time, rumors have persisted that this company intends to once again make handhelds.
More recently, since the rise of the smartphone, the rumors have changed a bit, and they now say that Apple plans to make one of these devices.
And, considering how popular this company’s iPod music players are, it isn’t surprising that there are unconfirmed reports that Apple intends to merge a smartphone and a iPod into a single device.
Not Just Rumors
Beyond the rumors, there is some actual evidence that this company is thinking along the same lines.
According to Apple Insider, earlier this year, Apple registered with a European trademark and design office several possible new interface designs for its iPod line. One of these is unmistakably for a phone/iPod hybrid.
The design features what looks like a typical iPod, but below the screen there’s a D-pad, two buttons possibly for connecting and disconnecting a call, and a numberpad.
Of course, this can’t be taken as proof that Apple is developing such a device, but it does show that the company is at least considering the idea.
Another possible interface design registered at the same time includes one for an iPod/game console hybrid.
In March of this year, it was revealed that people working for smartphone-maker BenQ have said that Apple is indeed putting together an iPhone.
BenQ won’t be producing this device, but its part suppliers have supposedly told BenQ employees about it.
And last year, Motorola CEO Ed Zander said, “We know that they [Apple] are going to build a smartphone — it’s only a matter of time.”
Exactly what features the iPhone will have are not known at this time, although it is virtually assured that it will offer support for Apple’s iTunes music service.
There is already a phone on the market with iTunes support, but this bears the Motorola brand, and, aside from some audio software, Apple had little or nothing to do with the creation of this device.