Newton lessons for Apple’s new platform

“Apple’s press releases all end with the phrase ‘Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple is building a new platform, and applying lessons it learned from the 90s,” Daniel Eran writes for RoughlyDrafted.

“During that nearly forgotten epoch of upheaval and crisis, Apple tried to launch the Newton as a new platform, although its subsequent failure in the marketplace didn’t earn it a mention in Apple’s press release blurb,” Eran writes.

Eran writes, “The Newton wasn’t just a new gadget, it was intended to be a diverse platform. Like the Macintosh from the prior decade, the Newton started as one product, and intended to branch out into a range of systems.”

Full article here.
The article is about the future and what Apple can learn from the past, but we just can’t help imagining what things would be like today if the last Newton was the first Newton released by Apple (in other words, if Steve Jobs was running the company at the time, if the Newton was even developed, it would have been much more ready for its debut).

Related articles:
Ten-year-old Apple Newton beats latest Microsoft Windows ‘Origami’ UMPC – July 27, 2006
Apple Newton fans keep platform alive – September 03, 2004


  1. More speculation and heresay – YES!

    On the more dreary side, more pontificating about what Apple should and shouldn’t do by critics who generally want to see it fail (we’re pretty sure they are also often on the payroll of MS), and who, even more often, really don’t know what the hell they’re talking about, at any level.

    (Let’s see… what else is on MDN today.)

  2. It’s amazing that admittedly opinionated has been BANNED by DIGG.

    As far as I can tell, I think author Daniel Eran has been tilting at windmills (Microsoft and GreenPeace, in particular) and this is a case where the hoards of MS and GP fascinistas voted Daniel off the island.

    Seems like Digg’s loss to me. I wonder how many other worthy, insightful, blogsters have been forced off the island for being intemperately, but understandably politically incorrect?

    Thanks MDN for SUPPORTING RoughlyDrafted by continuing to report on Daniel’s great, worthy posts. I love reading them and I think many other would too.

  3. Here here, well done MDN for highlighting articles. Always fascinating and original, the say what we think, that the world will be a much better place without Microsoft and with more Apple…

  4. I did not realize Apple had changed it’s “tagline” for press releases.

    The “new platform” is obviously the iPod. From the start, it was called an “iPod” instead of something more descriptive (at the time of release), like “iMusic.”

    I think Steve Jobs and Apple always intended iPod to become the “hub” for a wearable computer system. iPod provides the video feedback, input method, data storage, and CPU processing power. Apple and third-party vendors (such as Nike) provide the “peripherals” that interact with iPod (some wirelessly).

    The challenge and risk in inventing such a “platform” from scratch is acceptance and reaching a point of usership where it is considered a profitable venture. iPod, by first being an excellent music player (now a media player), has stealthily gotten onto the bodies of tens of millions of users. It is already a little computer that people are wearing. The long-rumored “iPhone” is the next step, by connecting the iPod to the Web. It won’t such a huge leap to go from the music player that everyone carries (or clips to their shirt), to the wearable computer platform that will be the “next big thing” for Apple. Apple has a huge advantage, because it already has the loyal user base.

  5. The iPad – portable OSX (or OSX lite), touchscreen, camera, wifi, phone, iLife to go … the possiblities are endless. The Newton was way ahead of its time – who know’s what Apple has planned. Can’t wait for MW.

  6. Apple never changed its boilerplate statement… here it is, verbatim, from their most recent (Dec. 6) press release:

    “Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning desktop and notebook computers, OS X operating system, and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital music revolution with its iPod portable music players and iTunes online store.”


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