Apple has denied that it plans to introduce an Apple-Palm handheld computer.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice president of worldwide product marketing, said: "We are focused on the personal computer space, not the handheld space, and that’s that. I hate to use these words, but there’s nothing going on," according to the Mercury News.

Apple is famous for its secrecy, particularly regarding new and unannounced products - its customary response is: "Apple does not comment on rumour or speculation." It’s rare for the company to break cover as it has now done in order to scotch reports that it is developing a handheld machine.

Reaction to this announcement on Nasdaq has been calm, with Salomon Smith Barney and JP Morgan continuing to rate the company as a "Buy". Nineteen analysts groups continue to rate Apple at the "Buy" level or above. Apple closed at $105.6875, up $4.6875 on the day.