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Intel exec vouches for Atom-based Apple Newton tablet - report

A high ranking Intel executive is said to have made comments this week that corroborate reports of a Netwon-like mini-tablet under development at Apple, as originally revealed by AppleInsider last year.

Intel Germany chief Hannes Schwaderer reportedly spilled the beans during the company's 40th birthday celebration at BMW World in Munich, adding that the device is expected to be powered by one of his firm's Atom ultra-mobile device chipsets.

"Schwaderer today confirms what has long been a rumor on the Internet: namely, that there is an iPhone with Intel's new Atom chip," reads a report in the German edition of ZDNet. "The device is slightly larger than the current version, Schwaderer said. This is not [because of] the Intel chip, but [because of] the larger display used in the new iPhone."

AppleInsider exclusively reported last September that Apple, which helped spawn the PDA market with its Newton MessagePad line in the '90s, was planning to give the concept another go with a modern day reincarnation based on the its mutli-touch technology.

The device has been described by sources as an ultra-thin "slate" akin to the iPhone and running an embedded version of the Mac OS X Leopard operating system.

Artist depiction of future tablet device alongside Apple's existing handhelds | Artwork by audiopollution.

In a followup report published in December, AppleInsider went on to reveal that Apple would adopt Intel's ultra-mobile PC platform — later renamed Atom — for use in the much rumored Newton mini tablet and possibly future generation iPhone devices.