Smoking Newtons, Batman! After a flurry of industry speculation about the fate of its underappreciated handheld technology, Apple has sold its Newton line to the highest bidder, the RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. (RN), parent company of the independently traded Nabisco, Inc. (NA) and creator of cigarette lines Camel, Winston, and Salem. As a result of the sale, Nabisco’s well-known Fig Newton line will gain a new member – the Cig Newton.
Cig Newtons will feature a special compartment for storing cigarettes. An RJR representative commented that “too many potential smokers use PDAs but don’t want the inconvenience of carrying around a PDA and a cigarette pack. By giving customers cigarettes and a PDA in one handy package, we think we can convince adults to try smoking and turn a huge profit.” The representative had no comment when asked if the new Newtons would ship with a program that automatically recorded cigarette usage and charted the increasing risk of health problems. Additionally, no comment was offered when asked if the company would offer a similar Cig Newton aimed at children, based on the eMate design and sporting a Joe Camel face. Rumor has it that RJR is currently negotiating a technology alliance that would enable it to add a “flick-top” Bic lighter technology to future models. [EJT]