Remembering the Newton: A look back

Mon, Oct 27, 2008

Apple History, News

Below is an old advertisement for the Newton Messagepad 2000. The device debuted in 1997 and was around for less than a year before Steve Jobs decided to axe it.

Some of the features advertised include:

  • a 16-level high-resolution grayscale screen
  • a screaming 160 MHz processor!
  • A built-in microphone and speaker for voice dictation!
  • Battery life of up to 6 weeks (that’s no typo)

The Newton Messagepad 2000 debuted at a price of $949 and its handwriting recognition was much better than its predecessors. But when Steve Jobs returned to Apple and started shaking things up, the Newton was declared DOA. Nevertheless, the Newton still has a surprisingly strong cult following, with a Worldwide Newton Conference scheduled to take place next Summer.

Almost 10 years after the Newton’s demise, Apple unveiled the iPhone. It’s amazing to think about how far handheld computing has come in such a relatively short period of time. It’s also funny to think about how in 10 years, we’ll probably be laughing at the specs and features of the current iPhone.


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