Apple Re-Hires Former Newton PDA Developer

Apple has taken a surprising turn for the nostalgic and re-hired Michael Tchao, one of the lead developers of the Newton, the Apple-developed PDA launched in 1993. Today he returned to Apple, 15 years after he left the company, he has now re-joined as the vice resident of product marketing, reporting directly to Phil Schiller.

Tchao first joined Apple in 1986, and held three different positions before being assigned to Group Manager for Product Planning and Strategy until he left in 1994. Since that time, he joined Nike in 2002 as the General Manager of the Nike Techlab in 2002, where he worked on numerous Nike+iPod products.

It is not clear what his new duties at Apple will entail; Apple would not comment further on the matter, and Mr. Tchao did not immediately respond to a phone message. But identifying a market for the much-rumored Apple tablet could certainly be among them. Mr. Tchao gets the credit (or perhaps the blame) for convincing John Sculley, Apple’s former chief executive, to integrate the company’s handwriting-recognition technology into a consumer device.

While it’s safe to say the Newton is a far cry from an iPhone, we find this to be relevant given the similarities between the two devices. It is possible that he may be doing iPhone-related work, though the popular theory is that he will be doing something with the heavily rumored Apple tablet.

[via NY Times]

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