July 29th, 2008
He may not even remember, but in August 2002, Leander Kahney of Cult of Mac posted a piece called “Newton’s Return: A hit and a myth” on Newton resurgence rumors after a New York Times piece hinted at something called…
The Times claimed “…Steve Jobs was pushing development of a new PDA-cum-cell-phone. Dubbed the iPhone, the device would lead Apple back into the dangerous ‘land of handhelds,’ the Times opined,” Kahney writes.
Flash forward a little under five years later, and everything comes to fruition. Amazing.
A pair of researchers studying the Cult of Newton found that such “brand communities” predicted or spread rumors that the MessagePad would return five times between its death in 1998 to 2002. “Through detailed analysis of news groups and websites,” Kahney writes, “the researchers conclude that the rebirth rumor is central to the ethos of the Newton community.”
Jesus Phone, anyone?
Any return of the Newton would simply validate “the platform’s technical superiority. If it’s good enough to be reintroduced, it’s good enough to keep using, fans reason.” Amen, brother. And the Newton idea did stick around: calendars, notes, third-party apps, unique input mechanism, e-mail on a handheld – they’re all there on the iPhone today.
I couldn’t believe I saw the word “iPhone” pop up in an article from 2002. We all know that Apple started working on the iPhone years ago. But sometimes those crazy rumors have a way of surfacing – and resurfacing – time and time again.
April 10th, 2008
Check this out:
The Handwriting Recognition team is seeking an engineer who will be responsible for advancing Apple’s handwriting recognition technology for Mac OS X. The ideal candidate will be an expert in the area of pattern recognition, with an excellent understanding of handwriting recognition issues. The person will also assume primary responsibility for maintaining and enhancing existing code and tools. The recognition technology you create may extend beyond Mac OS X to other applications and the iPhone.
This is from Apple’s job site. Someone shared the post from Macrumors.com, who reminds us that “Rosetta technology has found its way into Mac OS X under the name ‘Inkwell,’ but requires a tablet to be installed for use.”
So what do you say? Got what it takes to invent the next Newton?
December 30th, 2007
A new Apple “Newton 2″ rumor has popped up, this time with “evidence” from a SeekingAlpha.com author, David Sieger.
This new Apple device, which could be an Ultra Mobile Computer, has not been sighted out and about the Apple campus or even in the area normally designated for testing new Apple products, suggesting that it’s still in the software and hardware design period. Once it’s physically spotted outside Apple’s secretive labs, we may see an actual product release of 6-8 months, closely following other new Apple product introductions.
Sieger’s evidence is based on Apple buying up 5.2″ touchscreens, tons of flash memory, and lack of QWERTY keyboard.
Sieger, however, leaves out room for chance, or Apple’s ability to surprise people with something totally new and unexpected.
He says it can’t be a new Newton, because of the lack of PDA demand from the American public, “although various PDA functionalities may in fact be included in the final version of the device.”
It’s all shot-in-the-dark stuff, and the evidence he sites is flimsy at best. This could all belong to that nebulous cloud of Applet tablet rumors we’ve heard so much about.
[Read previous "RumorPad Watch" entry]