Posts tagged “jobs”.

Feb. 27, 1998: Apple kills the Newton

February 27th, 2008

Alas, poor Newton - we knew it well.

‘Tis a sad day, Newton fans.

Today is the ten-year anniversary of the death of our beloved MessagePad platform.

John Sculley’s dream was dashed when Steve Jobs arrived back on the scene. Says AppleMatters.com:

Having hastened Sculley’s departure or not, the Newton made it through two more CEOs and hundreds of thousands of wasted development dollars before it was spun off as an independent company. he world will never know if the Newton could have stood on the merits of the product without Apple’s backing, and true Newton fans cried a bitter tear on February 27, 1998, when Apple announced that further development of the Newton would cease.

*Tear* Poor sales, lack of development, Palm chipping away at market share – it was all too much for the newly refurbished Apple to deal with.

CNet.com has a great breakdown of the announcement on the day it happened, so check it out for the full story.

Now? The Newton community is still alive and well, thankyouverymuch, thanks to folks like you and me.

But remember, remember, the 27th of February…or something like that.

To iPhone or not to iPhone?

January 17th, 2008

I was hoping that, after Tuesday’s Macworld keynote, I would be rushing to Ann Arbor’s Apple store to pick up my iPhone. But no such luck.

Why not? I’m one of those guys waiting for the 3G.

It didn’t come yesterday. What did come, however, were some pretty cool features: the where-the-heck-am-I feature, the new homescreen capabilities, the multiple-person text messaging. It all sounds great.

It just doesn’t sound great enough. iTWire.com feels me – saying that Apple isn’t listening to its fans like it should be. And if it wants to hit that magic 10 million number…:

According to Apple, the company has sold 4 million iPhones in its first 200 days. For any other company, this would be a phenomenal figure. However, at Macworld 2007 Jobs envisioned sales of 10 million units in the first year, so Apple has some work to do over the next 165 days. It is beginning to look as though Apple has to release a 3G iPhone very soon in order to move 10 million units [by the end of 2008].

Right. Even if Cupertino wants to sell just one, to me, it better make the speed bump.

I have a cellphone, and a good cellphone carrier, that I like. I have my Newton. I have plenty of Macs. In reality, I don’t need an iPhone. But boy… I’ve already been in situations where, standing in the grocery line or waiting for someone, I can imagine whipping out the Jesus Phone and wasting a bit of time.

At work, we had an annual goal, and I reached it, and got a hefty bonus. I was going to use that money toward the purchase of an iPhone, pending the 3G announcement. But no 3G came.

Salon.com’s Farhad at the Machinist says that past and current iPhones are all created equal because they keep getting updates via free iTunes software. The phone is evolving, and it doesn’t cost any extra. But the actual hardware I’m waiting for can’t be downloaded via Software Update. I need a whole new phone.

So the wait continues. I’m thinking of putting a time limit on the 3G iPhone announcement – say, this spring. Maybe April, or before I head out on my New England driving tour at the end of May.

So there you go, Apple. You’ve got $400 sitting in the credit union with your name on it. All you have to do is deliver.

Macworld Keynote edition: “It takes all sorts.”

January 15th, 2008

MacBook Air

by Robert Frost

Ft takes all sorts of in and outdoor schuoting
To get adapted to my kind of fooling

[Read the original. You have to get used to Steve Jobs's fooling: no Newton, but a MacBook Air, iPod Touch and iPhone features, and tons of iTunes updates - like movie rentals. Plenty of coverage over at Cult of Mac, but I caught the whole thing thanks to live blogcasting.]

Buying stock in Macworld 2008.

January 14th, 2008

Steve Jobs introducing the iPhone at Macworld 2007.

My GCal countdown says “1 day until: Macworld.” The time is almost here, and every Apple fan knows it.

But unlike last year, there’s no oh-my-dear-sweet-Jesus news waiting for us. At least that’s what everyone, like John Gruber at Daring Fireball, thinks:

And so what I’ve noticed over the years is that in the week or so prior to a keynote, if expectations are running too high, word somehow gets out, at least to the press. What made last year’s pre-Expo prelude so electrifying is that while speculation was rampant that Apple would announce a phone, there was no one — no one — saying “Well, that’s not what I’ve heard.” When, in the face of white-hot speculation, Apple goes totally silent both officially and privately, that’s when they have something big.

Things were dead quiet last year. And they seem pretty quiet again this year. Donning my Cupertino-Kremlinology hat, I can’t help but see last week’s week-before-Macworld debut of brand-new Mac Pros as a hint that their keynote announcements plate runneth over. But there’s a big difference this year — last year, speculation was running rampant about one particular thing, “the phone”; this year, not so much. The consensus rumors and guesses are interesting but not earth-shaking.

In a mild/medium/hot scale, where mild is a lame keynote that’s mostly a “state of the Apple Union” address and hot is a major new product along the lines of the iPhone, my gut feeling is that we’re looking at a medium — spicy enough to be enjoyable, but not one for the ages.

Meanwhile, over at AppleInsider, the Newton drumbeat goes on. They say “Newton 2.0″ won’t be coming at Macworld 2008, but it’s “remains a work-in-progress, according to people familiar with the matter.” I think the Newton 2.0 rumor is still pie-in-the-sky mythmaking, especially considering that Apple has two items that could serve as light-weight PDAs. The iPod Touch and iPhone may lack the handwriting technology, but they’ve got just about anything else you’d need.

Anyone want to place bets? I already have. I just plunked down about $850 for five shares of AAPL, courtesy of ING’s buy-out of ShareBuilder. Apple’s stock was over the $200 mark for the first time about a week ago, and now it’s dipped to about $172 a share. Well I’m putting my money where my mouth is, and investing in a company I have great faith in.

Even if this Stevenote isn’t as big as last year’s, my money says it’ll be enough to keep Apple in the spotlight.

Play Newton Bingo for Macworld keynote.

January 7th, 2008

Now here’s a version of BINGO your grandma might not get.

Ars Technica is hosting a Macworld 2008 keynote bingo game – with a Newton MessagePad card.

Some of the highlights:

  • New Mac Pro – A new Mac Pro. I’m going to buy one of these (assuming they contain 45nm CPUs), so they damn well better be introduced.

  • New displays – New Apple external displays. I have grave doubts about this one (see later square), but the existing line desperately needs updating.

  • MacBook Thin – A new subnotebook from Apple, regardless of its actual branding or product name. What’s a subnotebook? Use your own judgement. The only restriction I’ll add is that it must have a hardware keyboard.

  • “Boom” – Steve Jobs says the word “boom” while demonstrating something.

The site has posted the card as a download-able PDF file, so you can play along at home.

But what – no Newton 2 spot?

iPod Touch and iPhone ARE becoming the Newton.

December 4th, 2007

Pogo Stylus in action

Here’s further proof, from Cult of Mac.

Turns out the Pogo Stylus is stealing your finger’s thunder, if you’re an iPhone or iPod Touch user. For $25, you too can have a chubby stylus that looks a heckuva lot less elegant than us Newton users enjoy.

Hats off to the Pogo folks for thinking of this: the commentors at Cult of Mac love the idea of a stylus just for those who suffer through winter, like we’re doing right now in Michigan.

Some have already wondered if the iPod Touch, and iPhone, are becoming the Newton replacements (see “Is the iPod Touch the new Newton“), but Cult of Mac gives it their “Pointless Product” alert. I don’t see why; sure, the whole dynamic idea of the iPhone, according to Steve Jobs, is its lack of stylus. But for those with fingers that don’t handle small objects so well, this could be a lifesaver. And I can see those of us in the Midwest needing a stylus just so we wouldn’t have to take our gloves off.

The nice thing about the Newton was the need for just a stylus. Because it recognized handwriting, there was no need for a keyboard (even though they did exist, and were useful).

Then again, we could forget the stylus and just start using an iBlade.

He mentioned the Newton.

October 22nd, 2007

Off topic:

Steve Jobs was interviewed by the New York Times the other day.  He was worried about how the iPhone would work.

“We all had that Garry Trudeau cartoon that poked fun at the Newton in the back of our minds,” he said, citing Doonesbury comic strips that mocked an Apple handwriting-recognition system in 1993. “This thing had to work.”

Well, sir, my Newton seems to be working…err…hang on…