The first PDA was introduced by Apple Inc. with the release of the Newton in 1993. The CEO at Apple at the time, John Sculley, coined the device a "Personal Digital Assistent" at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. He claimed that PDA's would become "ubiquitous tools that would hold telephone numbers, keep your calendar, store notes, plus send and receive data wirelessly." While the Newton could not do all that he predicted at the time, his claim would ultimately become a reality many years later.
While the Apple Newton went practically unnoticed in the consumer market, the introduction of the Palm Pilot by Palm, Inc in 1996 started the popularity of the PDA. The device was a highly effective method of information management because you could store your calendar, to-do lists, notes, and address book all in one simple handheld.
The addition of third party software/hardware vendors have made the PDA a portable device that can scan barcodes, play music, and run many small applications that used to only be done by a laptop computer.
Current Popular PDA Operating Systems