At least once a year a rumor circulates that Apple is going to release a new line of handhelds to replace the Newton. These never pan out and Apple CEO Steve Jobs will hopefully permanently lay this to rest by clearly stating that his company has no intention of making a handheld.
Mr. Jobs was asked about his company’s plans for portable devices on stage at this week’s D:All Things Digital conference. According to PC Pro, he said Apple will concentrate on making the Macintosh OS be able to synchronize with portable devices through its iSync software, rather than making a device of its own.
He also said he believes that there is no future in the Tablet PC and his company won’t be making one.
However, this doesn’t guarantee that there won’t be a new crop of rumors about Apple handhelds at some point in the future. In May of 2000, an Apple VP also flatly denied that his company had plans to make a handheld but rumors to the contrary have cropped up several times since then.
While Apple won’t be a making a handheld per se, its iPod line of MP3 players offers many of the features handhelds do, like the ability to store and display contacts, calendar, and to-do lists. In addition, the latest version comes with a text reader and three games. However, the iPod doesn’t have a touch screen or keyboard so users can’t enter data directly into it. This must be synchronized from a desktop or laptop.