Apple will spin off its Newton PDA division next month, enabling it to focus on developing new mobile products for the corporate market.
The announcement, made late last week, ends months of speculation about the future of the Newton technology.
Apple has been seeking investors for the division over the past few months and rumours circulating earlier this year suggested Sun Microsystems was interested in purchasing the division. According to reports, Oracle, Sony and Acorn also expressed an interest in buying the group.
By spinning off Newton into a separate company, expected to be called Newton Inc., Apple is following the advice of co-founder Steve Jobs, who believes the PC maker should focus on what it does best: creating easy to use software. In addition, Newton's losses can now be removed from Apple's balance sheet.
Apple declined to provide market figures but, according to analysts, the installed base for Newton OS 2.0-based handhelds is around 150,000 worldwide.
According to Apple, the new company will focus on developing new types of products as well as licensing mobile technologies for vertical corporate markets, starting with healthcare, salesforce automation and field service.
Newton Inc will be run by newly appointed CEO Sandy Bennett. who was previously VP of the Newton Group at Apple.
Bennett said: "We have a solid business plan and a strong management team in place to optimise the value of Newton technology for corporate users, and take Newton technology into a new era."
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