During an interview with Charlie Rose, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs offered up some interesting news that relates to Apple’s legendary Newton PDA. Apparently, Jacobs’ company had approached Apple in the 1990s to put a radio into the device. Cupertino said no thanks.
Instead of placing a Qualcomm radio in the Newton, the company instead negotiated a deal with Palm to create the Qualcomm PDQ. That product proved unsuccessful, as did Palm later on.
Without a radio that would have allowed it to talk to other devices, the Newton struggled for nearly a decade before Steve Jobs killed it in 1998 upon his return to Apple.
One can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Apple had accepted Qualcomm’s deal. The Newton, for example, could have become an iPhone-like device and all of us could have been playing Angry Birds much earlier.
Jacobs is the keynote speaker at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, which kicks off next week in Las Vegas, Nev.