Apple should re-enter the PDA (personal digital assistant) market, according to a market analyst.

Pat Dorsey, director of Stock Analysis at Morningstar.com, told ON24 that he feels Apple should "renew its old ties in the market" – referring to the 1993 launch of Apple's Newton handheld.

"Apple has been a handheld manufacturer, it seems logical that this is a market it may want to re-enter," he said.

Eagerly awaited at the time, the Newton proved disappointing as it had limited capabilities.

Apple's options

Almost a decade on, the options now open to Apple, according to Dorsey, include a partnership with either Handspring or Palm, both PDA manufacturers.

These companies' philosophy of "design as product differentiation" strikes a chord with Apple, itself renowned for computers with cutting-edge style – epitomised by the iMac.

Dorsey cites Handspring as the most attractive proposition for an alliance with Apple. Cheaper than Palm, its acquisition price of $1.3billion is a drop in the ocean compared to Palm's $3.7 billion, he claims. The price tag would also include product designers Donna Dubinsky and Jeff Hawkins, who built Handspring from the ground-up.