Apple Showcases Newton Family Features in CES Progress Report
Las Vegas, Nevada --January 8, 1993 -- Apple Computer, Inc. demonstrated the first alpha version of its Newton family of products at the Consumer Electronics Show today. Newton is Apple's first personal digital assistant (PDA). PDAs are a new category of products driven by the convergence of the computer, communications, publishing, and consumer electronics industries around digital technologies.
Gaston Bastiaens, Apple's vice president and general manager of Apple's Personal Interactive Electronics division which is developing Newton, gave an overview of progress made since the Newton technology was first introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in May, 1992. He also showcased some of the communications and integrated architecture features being developed for Newton. He said the division planned to ship the first member of the Newton family around the middle of 1993.
"Much progress has been made in the development of Newton over the last seven months," said Bastiaens. "We have listened carefully to feedback from individuals and institutions, from analysts and developers, and are using their input to help design a family of products and applications which meet the demands of the marketplace. We have developed a portfolio of key technology components such as the Newton Operating System, application and system software, specific customized microprocessors, authoring tools and the technology needed for faxing, printing, etc."
"In addition, we have laid the groundwork to enable us to license Newton technology to others in an efficient, successful and supportive way," he said. "We are committed to an integrated scalable Newton architecture which can be used in products not just from Apple and Sharp but from other licensed partners."
"Furthermore, the PIE division has also signed several significant agreements over the past six months:
"Finally, we have made considerable progress in engineering & design with our partner, Sharp Corporation, a world leader in miniaturization and mass manufacturing."
During the conference, Akira Mitarai, Group General Manager of the Information Systems Group, Sharp Corporation, officially handed over the first fully integrated hand held version of the Newton family to Bastiaens.
One of the cornerstones of the Newton family is its integrated communications capability. At the Consumer Electronics Show in May, 1992, Apple chairman and chief executive officer John Sculley said that the use of digital technology in communications will mean a massive increase of the amount of information available, and on new kinds of devices. However, he said this vast increase in available information would only be truly usable if people can access it in easy, "unstressful" ways. He pointed to products in the Newton family as ideal devices for accessing and communicating digital information. Apple demonstrated some of these communications capabilities at the progress report, including fax and infra-red based wireless data exchange. Products in the Newton family will also integrate with cellular networks, host systems and personal computer networks.
During his presentation, Bastiaens noted that the Newton family is planned to include products aimed at several markets, including the corporate, professional and consumer sectors. Apple has also had strong interest from several major corporations, both in the US and elsewhere. "We expect significant early demand from individuals who are either running their own businesses or working for large corporations," said Bastiaens."These are the business professionals who have a need to access, manipulate and transmit information wherever they are."