Apple Rehires Newton Tablet Developer

Posted: Sep 29 2009, 9:53am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 4:30pm CDT, in Apple


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Chalk up one more point in favor of the existence of the iTablet. The New York Times today broke the news that former Apple developer Michael Tchao, who worked on the disastrous Newton PDA, has been rehired by the company. Tchao will take up a position as vice president of marketing, where he will report directly to Phil Schiller.

This is very big news, because it makes it exceedingly likely that a tablet product of some sort is in development. Tchao is the man who convinced former Apple CEO John Scully to put handwriting recognition software into a consumer device. He was one of the biggest influences behind Apple's first tablet, and he knows what not to do when it comes to marketing a tablet computer. In other words, he's just the man Apple needs to sell the iTablet.

Of course, the fact that Apple rehired Tchao is not proof that a tablet is under development. Since his departure from Apple 15 years ago, Mr. Tchao has had a successful career, even working with Nike's Techlab to build sneakers and armbands that accomodate iPods. Tchao is an experienced marketer and developer, and there could be any number of reasons for Cupertino to want him back. The iTablet is just the most obvious.

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