Sun is reportedly talking to Apple about buying the struggling PC manufacturer's Newton PDA business.
The talks follow Sun's failed attempt to buy Apple last year. According to USA Today, no deal between the two companies has yet been struck. It is also not clear how much Sun is prepared to pay for the operation.
Two years ago, Apple is believed to have wanted $200 million (#125 million) for the Newton business. But earlier this year, the company was offered just $20 million for the division by a group of European investors.
The Newton group is responsible for the development and marketing of the Newton MessagePad handheld computer and the eMate portable, which uses Newton technology and is targeted at the education sector.
The future of the Newton business has been increasingly in doubt. Last month, as part of a major restructuring which saw Apple's workforce shrink by 30%, the company announced plans to focus on its key Macintosh business and sell off parts of its business units. Although the company didn't identify which divisions it might dispose of, industry observers believed Newton would be a prime candidate, partly because of the huge R&D spend needed to keep the division going.
Sun is thought to be interested in buying Newton in order to expedite its entry into the mobile computing market. The Newton would also tie-in with Sun's Java language, which can be ported across all types of computer devices.
Neither Sun nor Apple would comment on the rumours.
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