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View Full Version : Why does Apple hate the Newton?


ELYXR
Mar 25, 2003, 03:12 AM
It's been 6 long years since the Newton MP 2100 was discontinued. It's still an impressive PDA even by today's standards. Palm's Tungsten is laughable in many respects... the Dell AximX5 (which I own) has a fast 400Mhz XScale Processor with good handwriting recognition and a nice transreflective display. But style and function are lacking in many ways.

My question is:

Why doesn't Apple simply offer a PDA? How would it hurt them?
They've left those that got hooked on the Newton out on the curb.

Chaszmyr
Mar 25, 2003, 07:48 AM
How would it hurt them? They have no gaurantee it would do well compared to all the other many many PDAs on the market, even if it was a better product, and designing and marketting a new product is no inexpensive task.

MisterMe
Mar 25, 2003, 07:57 AM
Originally posted by ELYXR
It's been 6 long years since the Newton MP 2100 was discontinued. It's still an impressive PDA even by today's standards. Palm's Tungsten is laughable in many respects... the Dell AximX5 (which I own) has a fast 400Mhz XScale Processor with good handwriting recognition and a nice transreflective display. But style and function are lacking in many ways.

My question is:

Why doesn't Apple simply offer a PDA? How would it hurt them?
They've left those that got hooked on the Newton out on the curb. Steve Jobs answered this question at last year's stockholder's meeting. He said that the PDA market is declining. PDA functions, he said, were being merged into cell phones. Under Jobs, Apple will not reenter this dying market. The company has, however, begun initiatives with cell phone manufacturers such as Sony-Ericcson.

Doraemon
Mar 25, 2003, 08:31 AM
Check this page (http://www.theapplemuseum.com/index.php?id=tam&page=pda) out.

Newton was too expensive.
And at this point in time, competition is too hard, IMO.

CTan
Mar 25, 2003, 10:22 AM
There is hope for a future with Apple and PDA's. Jobs said that nobody wants to write really small on a PDA, which is why he doesn't like them. However, Apple has applied for a patent for voice recognition that drones out secondary noise (aka the kid crying 3 rows back, the guy with the loud headphones in the row in front of you).

ALSO... Apple has just hired back Steve Sakoman (http://rss.com.com/2100-1041-991061.html), former executive at Palm and former Apple employee ( he worked on the Newton while with Apple (http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/2003Feb/bpd20030224018798.htm) ).

ALSO... Apple has asked for another patent to change the appeance of a physical device... and is working on a 3d (well have been working on) monitor ...

... Apple has also applied for an "iPhone" patent in the UK.

Hmmm... what is Apple thinking....

Get a patent on speach recognition that only hears what the person in front of the monitor is saying.... hire back an executive from a successful PDA company... devices that can change their appearance and display images in holographic 3d ....

iPhone: International telephone capable of translating speach into text (email), changing color, knowing who to listen to when they are speaking, showing images in 3d, and all of this in a hand held phone.

maybe, maybe not... but certainly sounds good.

rainman::|:|
Mar 25, 2003, 10:59 AM
you know that we're in for years if not decades of photonic research before holographic 3D screens are a reality. We can get what I call 'ghetto 3D', which is like dual-layer LCD panels, but holograms are not going to be coming anytime soon...

i do agree tho that an Apple phone/PDA is in the works. Went and bought a T720 last week, I think there might be a finished iPhone by the time I want to replace it...

:)
pnw

alset
Mar 25, 2003, 11:17 AM
It's worth noting that Steve Sakoman also was a cofounder of Be Inc. Apple nearly purchased Be when they were looking for new tech, but went with NeXT because Be tried to screw them on the price. He joined Palm during a buyout of tech, and has been there since. He may be coming to Apple as an OS strategist.

Dan

unclepain
Mar 25, 2003, 11:23 AM
Pretty much boils down to money as does most business decisions. The R and D required to make the device as well as the software to run on them doesn't make good business sense considering that they really would only sell to a fraction of the current Mac market and there's no way they could compete with the lower cost PDAs that are already on the market. You also spread out the companies resources too thinly and at the time the Newton was killed, Apple was all over the place in terms of products. Printers and cameras and newtons and e-Mates and god-knows how many different flavors of computers and laptops. They needed to focus their energies and I think the strategy has paid off. Now, don't get me wrong- I would LOVE to see an Apple handheld device and would buy one the moment it gets announced, but they won't and truthfully, my Axim does everthing I need a portable device to do anyways....

Eniregnat
Mar 25, 2003, 11:58 AM
Apple does not hate the Newton or the equally impressive and Newton based eMate.

Apple had great hopes for the PDA/computer. As technology advances laptops will get smaller, PDAs will become more powerful, and peripherals will merge into single homogenous units.

Evidence of this is found with in the Newton line.

2200 with dongel keyboard -> eMate300 -> bMate (business Mate- not released) -> Apples platonic ideal of an inexpensive education/business computer -> rev A iBook

ELYXR
Mar 25, 2003, 12:33 PM
I work at an Apple educational reseller... we also sell Dell and Gateway. We just got the Axim in a week ago and we can't keep them in stock ... by a long shot. I can't count how many times medical students and professionals come into the store ready to buy a Tungsten because their IT department recommends it... but when they get their hands on the Axim, they usually buy it without hesitation. It's $100 cheaper... has more expansion (SD and Compact Flash), handwriting recognition, works with "actual" Word and Excel documents, and the screen is awesome.

I think a "new" Newton would succeed in ways that noone can presently predict. It would give Mac users a step in the right direction, rather than backwards with the Palm (the only real option for Mac users). Granted there is 3rd party software that allows Pocket PC users to sync with Entourage, but people want a certified solution.

I personally would buy a "Newton 2003" in less than a second and replace my Axim without a moments hesitation.

ELYXR
Mar 25, 2003, 12:37 PM
Oh, and we sell 1GB Compact Flash cards for $220 ... 1GB of storage for MP3's, documents, movies... awesome. The biggest problem is the USB 1.1 connection via the cradle. If Apple built a modern PDA it would most certainly have a firewire connection. This would be awesome for transfering data at lightning speed.

But the real innovation would be if they used the Toshiba harddrives... 40GB Firewire PDA with a 400Mhz XScale processor and 128MB of RAM running "OSX-lite"... OOoooh!!! :o

Eniregnat
Mar 25, 2003, 01:45 PM
Ultimately, I think that this is all in the works, though perhaps not through the Newton line. If the PDA and portable electronics market keeps moving in the same direction, single purpose, non-dockable electrons will not be the rage. The evidence shows devices (technologies) moving together, though inexpensive standalone will still dominate through sheer numbers.

Couple technology trends with wit the iPod rumors. iPods will grow thinner; they might sport portable dock that has a camera and a screen. A slimed down Mac OS may appear, or it may run on the Palm OS and run some sort of ported InkWell, or even a new Newton OS. I donít think the Newton will be reborn, rather, I think the iPod will be transformed.

Iíd love to own a new Newton, and I would purchase one to augment my aging iBook.

GeneR
Mar 25, 2003, 05:01 PM
If I were Apple, I'd wait until most of the technology that we see in current PDAs have migrated to the cellphone...

...cameras...
...organizers...
...MP3 players (?)

And then come out with your own version that has all of those features but with a ton of MORE memory and MORE battery-life and if possible OSX.

Windows CE seems like a good example of MS not coming up with a new operating system but reinforcing its product line.

Shouldn't Apple do that same for OSX? But having the memory size and hardware ability, maybe BSD on a PDA will happen and allow Apple to really continue to build its OS brand.

Just my $0.02.

alset
Mar 25, 2003, 06:22 PM
GeneR - Keen observation about X on a PDA. I just don't know how you could ever slim down some of the massive overhead in X to make it work. The cost of the processing power would dwarf current PDAs. Not to say they shouldn't try, of course.

Dan

timbloom
Mar 25, 2003, 06:56 PM
Originally posted by alset
GeneR - Keen observation about X on a PDA. I just don't know how you could ever slim down some of the massive overhead in X to make it work. The cost of the processing power would dwarf current PDAs. Not to say they shouldn't try, of course.

Dan

if you ever look at how big the actual logic board is in the 12" powerbook, you might be suprised at how small they can get these things. Given, the pricetag would be enormous.

benixau
Mar 25, 2003, 07:09 PM
look at pocket pc os. it is windows on a little scale.

windows XP needs: 256/512MB RAM - a 1Ghz proc - a 20GB HDD to get the speeds pocket pc os does. yet it hink it is in your face that ppos pdas do not have these specs.

why does a pda need monitor drivers for all but its own display?
why does a pda need optical drive drivers?
why does a pda need hdd drivers?
why does a pda need ext. drive drivers for all but its own buitl-in expansion ports.

and then you take out all the uneeded services such as cupsd, autodiskmounter and other - that i can not remember right now.

this cuts down the requirements substantially.
its possible - it just takes a fair bit of effort.

GeneR
Mar 26, 2003, 11:53 AM
Maybe Apple doesn't hate Newton. Maybe it's Newton that hates Apple...

I think they're in therapy together, you know, group counseling... ahem! :D