A Brief History of the Brand


The Apple Newton was the earliest entrant into the Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) product category. Rushed to market in 1993, the first Newtons had a notable shortcoming poor handwriting recognition (HWR).  This shortcoming was widely reported (and lampooned, for example, Doonesbury, the Simpsons) in the media, even though other applications on the Newton (such as Notes, Names and Dates) were quite strong. The attention to the poor HWR probably discouraged many potential adopters (even though these problems were corrected in subsequent Newton models). Consequently, the Newton never achieved critical mass. Despite a loyal user base the Newton lost its lead in the emerging PDA category to the newly introduced Palm Pilot in 1996. The Palm Pilot and other subsequent competing PDA formats were smaller, considerably less technologically ambitious, less expensive, and much more successful in the marketplace. In February of 1998, Apple officially discontinued the Newton and all related products. For several months, officials at Apple suggested that Apple was considering offers from other companies to license the technology, allowing someone else to continue to manufacture the device. No such deals ever took place. As a result, the users of the Apple Newton have been largely left to their own ingenuity.  






Main Newton Research page


 Emerging interpretations

 Newton links

last modified on April 27, 2004