NewtonE-reading may benefit if a report in AppleInsider is accurate.

Apple, creator of the Newton of yore, will supposedly take another stab at PDA-like machines—this time using multitouch technology.

Oh, for the above to be true. Give me a straight PDA as an option, please, not a cellphone, not just an entertainment device. And be sure it can handle the .epub standard, not merely PDF and HTML. Here’s to nonproprietary standards, reflowability and more e-book-related features than browser-style software can provide right now!

Below is the lowdown from Insider on the reborn Newton, believed to be set for release in the first half of 2008:

“For the past 18 months, well-respected sources tell AppleInsider, a small team of Apple engineers have been at it again, this time tapping the company’s revolutionary multi-touch technology as a foundation….

“With the initial iPhone now out the door and two successive models well underway in Apple’s labs, it’s believed to be full steam ahead for the modern day Newton project. Like iPhone and the iPod touch, the new device runs an embedded version of Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard operating system.

“Externally, the mutil-touch PDA has been described by sources as an ultra-thin “slate” akin to the iPhone, about 1.5 times the size and sporting an approximate 720×480 high-resolution display that comprises almost the entire surface of the unit. The device is further believed to leverage multi-touch concepts which have yet to gain widespread adoption in Apple’s existing multi-touch products—the iPhone and iPod touch-like drag-and-drop and copy-and-paste.”

So, gang, do you think this report is true, and what suggestions would you have for Apple as it supposedly reinvents the Newton—other than belying Apple DNA and going for an open approach for an e-book format, hardware and software alike?

(Big thanks to Mike Cane for the spotting.)