Apple Unveils New Newton Technology; Previews the Industry's first PDA Device
Chicago -- May 29, 1992 -- After months of industry speculation and anticipation, Apple Computer, Inc., today provided the first glimpse of its Newton technology. This new technology will be the core of Apple's first major new product line since the popular Macintosh personal computer was introduced in 1984.
Shown today at the Summer Consumer Electronics Show, Newton devices fall into an emerging new class of products that Apple calls Personal Digital Assistants--devices that use digital technology to bridge the gap between personal computers and consumer electronics. Newton is also the first new technology announced from Apple's new Personal Interactive Electronics division, which has been chartered with extending the company into new growth areas, where Apple has unique technology and business advantages.
"The possibilities for vendors and customers in this emerging market are enormous," said John Sculley, Apple's chairman and CEO. "The convergence of digital technology and information represents the biggest opportunity for Apple and other vendors in the personal computer, consumer electronics, telecommunications, entertainment, and publishing industries since the advent of personal computers. And Apple is poised for success with multiple projects and technology that will come to fruition over the next several years.
"Newton is a technology that exemplifies the best of Apple's strengths: using leading-edge software technology to allow people to do things more easily and efficiently," he added.
Newton is an entirely new technology from Apple that will be the basis for a broad array of new products. To assist in the proliferation of Newton technology, Apple is licensing Newton to selected vendors to use in their own versions of Newton devices. Last March, Apple announced such a relationship with Sharp Corp. of Japan. Sharp has licensed Newton technology from Apple for its own future products, and will also jointly design and produce the first commercial product version of Newton technology for both companies, due out early next year.
The first Newton products will be electronic notepads that intelligently assist the user in capturing, organizing and communicating ideas and information. These products will be small, portable devices that allow freeform notetaking, drawing, calculating, scheduling, and communicating. Newton's revolutionary new hardware technology offers performance capabilities similar to a high-end personal computer, and because of its unique software environment, is very easy to learn and use.
Breakthrough New Technologies
Groundbreaking technology from Apple has been under development for more than four years and has provided the basis for a number of core technologies in Newton.
Newton will actively assist users in their day-to-day tasks. As the device is used, it will learn more about the user and actually propose solutions to help them work more efficiently. For instance, if a user wanted to schedule "lunch with Jane", they would simply write "lunch Jane Thursday". Newton technology would know that lunch normally means noon, and that Jane in the individual's address book is Jane Green, and that Thursday probably means this Thursday. A Newton device would then suggest this to the user, by opening their calendar to Thursday and scheduling lunch from noon to 1 p.m. with Jane Green.
The goal for the recognition architecture is to make using Newton products as easy as using a pencil and paper. Newton products will be able to read a user's handwriting, transform it into text as they write, and quickly refine and scale drawings or sketches. Newton technology allows the user to write in a natural and freeform manner because it does not limit the user to writing in boxes or on lines on the screen surface. This Newton technology is different from other pen-based operating systems because it is based on the simultaneous use of several recognition technologies, rather than forcing the user to choose one at a time. The benefit to the user is a higher recognition factor and greater adaptability to personal style.
Newton devices will provide users with a single repository for all of the little pieces of information they would typically accumulate in various forms (phone numbers, business cards, directions, meeting notes, birthdays). Because of the advanced object-oriented data structure, Newton products will then allow users to organize the information so that they can easily access it in any variety of ways. For instance, a user could view the information for everything that relates to a specific client, a specific week, or a specific subject such as "Jane Green".
Newton technology was designed from the ground up to take great advantage of communications. These new products will foster easy communications between various Newton product users in meetings, on the street corner, or during lunch. Newton devices will have built- in wired and wireless communications capabilities. For instance, two Newton users could compare calendars or exchange business cards. Newton users could also fax a letter, check electronic mail messages or connect to a satellite news service to obtain current news or stock information.
Newton technology is based on a new breed of powerful RISC processors optimized for high performance, low power consumption, and low cost. The Advanced RISC Machines, Ltd. (ARM) RISC processor Apple has chosen, the ARM 610, gives Newton products the equivalent power of leading desktop computers, yet consumes less battery power than a small flashlight. In addition, the Newton architecture allows users to add intelligent cards to increase the amount of information the products can access and store as well as add more specific functions. Both Apple and third party companies will provide a variety of intelligent cards to give users choices for specific needs.
Industry Leaders Announce Support
The first group of a number of major companies have announced support for Newton technology and have committed to development of future complementary products. Representing many industry segments, the range of products expected will be focused in the general areas of 1) communications products--to enhance the use of Newton devices in a mobile environment; 2) content products--to offer users a wide spectrum of interesting and personal information for their Newton products; and 3) compatibility--allowing users to use Newton devices easily in parallel with existing computer systems. Motorola, Pacific Bell, Random House, SkyTel Corporation and Traveling Software, Inc. today all made announcements in conjunction with Apple.
The first Newton product from Apple will be available in English-language versions in early 1993. Newton-based products from Sharp Corp. are also expected to be available in the same timeframe. Pricing will be announced at the time of delivery.
Apple, the Apple logo and Macintosh are registered trademarks and Newton is a
trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.
Motorola is a trademark of Motorola, Inc.
Pacific Bell is a registered trademark of Pacific Telesis.
RANDOM HOUSE is a registered trademark of Random House, Inc.
Sharp is a registered trademark of Sharp Corporation
SkyTel is a registered trademark of SkyTel Corporation.