What the world needs is a new NewtonPhone
I was an early adopter of the original Newton. I still have it, upgraded, and actually fire it up once a year to see if it still works (it does).
I've said the following before in comments here in El Reg, but it's worth repeating:
A tool that uses a new paradigm to perform its function will NOT be popular and may fail, simply because the majority of people will not break from their habits to try the new paradigm.
The Newton was just such a device: more than a PDA in that there were numerous applications that went beyond the simple text-only address books and PDAs of the time - from a Washington, DC Metro map that was interactive to various VT100 terminal emulators (for use with the 2400 baud modem) and email apps. It was BIG, relatively speaking (I had a custom-made belt case for it since it would not fit in most pockets), but it did A LOT in a very compact space. Using only 4 AAA batteries.
However, it was NOT what people expected. The handwriting recognition was quirky until you had trained the recognizer sufficiently, and even with decent recognition, it was still difficult to use it as a VT100 terminal - pretty much an "emergency" device in that respect.
It did allow you to do many documentation tasks that usually required pen and paper back then - like take e-ink notes at meetings and then save them as a file as part of a project docs folder, make quick sketches that could be plugged into other documents. You could even print from it directly (which helped distribute meeting notes to those Nimrods that couldn't read their own handwriting).
However, the paradigm was too far beyond the majority of people that would want it: needing to take a couple of hours to set it up was "too much work".
The same holds true for Mr. Gates Tablet PC. I use a tablet DAILY - I've had one since 2004 that has been doing daily service. Same as the Newton: it does many things superlatively, but it is NOT a PC replacement. It COMPLEMENTS a PC by allowing you to do "human" things in a very portable form factor and integrate them with "computer" things in a way that gets the best of both. However, it requires thinking in a new paradigm - not forcing the Newton or Tablet to do things that it can't or won't.
The iPhone, however, is completely different. It really has no "new" breakthroughs that other phone devices don't already provide; or, rather, it uses new technology to provide the same paradigms that other devices provide. I don't expect the iPhone to suffer the same fate as the Newton. If the iPhone fails it will be from cost/service issues, not a new interaction paradigm that no one "gets".
Finally, if Apple would revive the Newton and add cell phone capability to it (well, and update it to current technology standards) it MIGHT have the true KILLER device of the early 2000's. Imagine: a hip-worn device, larger than a phone but smaller than any tablet PC that uses Bluetooth headgear to allow phone access (with Apple's much improved voice recognition), the ability to control it completely with voice command without opening the belt-case. Out of the case it could do 85% of what a tablet PC does, and 100% of a internet phone and iPod do. Stylus input as well as "finger" pointing, on a REALLY nice size screen (maybe even 1024X768 in a small screen) - we'd have a real paradigm shift to a convergence device that isn't a crippled version of a laptop or an overly poky cell phone.
Just thoughts, randomly. I certainly would pony up €1500 for this type of convergence. After all, I bought a Mac just to be able to dock my Newton...