Toshiba is planning its long-awaited entry into the PDA (personal digital assistant) market for July, a company source has told IDG News.

The company is nearing design completion of its PDA, the first from the notebook market leader, which will be based on Microsoft's Pocket PC platform, the source said.

Further details, such as target price and international launch details, are still under consideration.

Toshiba introduced the world to the concept of mobile computing in June 1989 when it launched the world's first notebook computer but, since then, although its machines have become smaller, it has never deviated from the basic notebook PC form factor.

The new PDA will be a test of whether Toshiba can translate its mobile computing leadership into the smaller world of PDAs.

Toshiba UK seemed to be unaware that developments had moved on to this extent.

"I didn't think the plans were that final," said a Toshiba UK spokeswoman.

PC Advisor tried to get hold of Toshiba Europe's head honcho apropos handheld and notebook devices, but he was unreachable as at the time this story was posted.