First Newton -- The MessagePad -- Hits The Market

Cupertino, California -- July 30, 1993 -- Apple Computer, Inc. today announced that the first product based on its innovative Newton technology -- the Newton MessagePad -- will ship on Aug. 2, 1993.  The Newton MessagePad is a handheld communications assistant that allows people to gather, manage, and share information with tremendous ease and spontaneity.  By combining rich communications capabilities with technology that actively assists people in getting work done, Apple has created a new class of personal digital assistant (PDA) devices -- one that lets people communicate ideas with greater speed, clarity, and effectiveness.  The Newton MessagePad is also a rich platform for a wide variety of new applications and software titles that take advantage of its unique technology, convenience, and usability.

The Newton MessagePad is the first in a family of products based on Newton technology: others will be introduced in the future by both Apple and its licensees.

"We believe that Newton will be seen as the defining technology of the digital age," said John Sculley, Apple chairman.  "It will be a focal point for the coming convergence of industry sectors such as computers, communications and consumer electronics.  Communications is a key component of this new emerging industry and the Newton MessagePad demonstrates how this capability can be powerfully yet intuitively built into a handheld device.  I look forward to a full lineup of products and services based on Newton Intelligence, not just from Apple but from innovative, creative companies around the globe."

The Newton MessagePad is based on the concept of Newton Intelligence, which is a combination of software and silicon.  Newton Intelligence is what makes Newton understandable, friendly, intuitive and useful.  It is the "soul" of the Newton MessagePad that allows the product to "learn" the user's preferences and requirements.  For example, the user could receive a wireless message from a colleague to attend a meeting and Newton could automatically place the appointment in its calendar.  More importantly, Newton Intelligence actively assists users in completing their tasks. It "learns" users work habits and patterns -- and then implements them on cue. Whether it's printing a letter in an accustomed format, or faxing a message to a client's office, the MessagePad learns over time to adapt to the user's preferences.

Communication capabilities

Because of Newton technology's robust communications architecture, the MessagePad comes with a wide variety of powerful communications capabilities.  The Newton Communications Architecture is highly modular.  This means that when new applications and services become available, they can easily be added and supported in an integrated, plug-and-play manner. The communications capabilities in the MessagePad allow users to send, receive, and share information through virtually every communication method in the workplace today -- through telephone lines, wireless networks, and computer networks.

Faxing.  The MessagePad can act as a handheld facsimile (fax) machine -- allowing users, with the optional modem, to send facsimiles to virtually any fax machine in the world. Additionally, Newton Intelligence makes the process of sending a facsimile simple: With the press of one button, the MessagePad automatically formats the output, adds a cover page, and places the facsimile in the system's Out Box, awaiting connection to a telephone line. It is anticipated that future products in the family will additionally offer the capability to receive fax messages.

Wireless Messaging.  Users of Newton MessagePad are expected to have access to a wireless messaging service with both national (U.S.) and local access.  This service will deliver alpha-numeric paging and messaging capabilities to users of the Newton MessagePad.  This service is expected to give the users a fully-featured method of keeping in touch that is totally integrated with the MessagePad. (Full details of this service will be available in the near future.)

Electronic Mail.  MessagePad users will be able to send and receive electronic mail messages to and from other MessagePad users who are NewtonMail subscribers -- or just about any computer, by using the NewtonMail service and the optional modem. NewtonMail is a subscriber based service to be offered by Apple that is an extremely cost effective way of communicating across the United States and the rest of the world. Availability of the NewtonMail service will be announced at a later date. Over time, it is anticipated that NewtonMail will be expanded to offer a wide range of information such as news, weather and financial information as well as the potential for online transactions.

Beaming.  Making use of its built-in infrared function, the MessagePad can send -- or "beam" in Apple engineer parlance**quick messages to other Newton devices across a one meter distance, without any wiring or cabling. This capability is ideal for the quick exchange of items such as business cards, meeting notes, maps, or appointments.

Printing.  The MessagePad can print any document it creates -- notes, drawings, addresses, maps, letters -- on most popular dot matrix, portable inkjet, thermal and laser printers. These printers can be either connected directly, or accessed through a local area network.

Desktop Connections

The Newton MessagePad can share information -- quickly and easily -- with millions of personal computers. Using the optional Newton Connection package, users can transfer, synchronize, back up, and update information between a Newton MessagePad and a Macintosh personal computer or a personal computer running the Windows operating system.  Newton Connection is based upon a technology Apple calls "Smart Synchronization," which automatically updates information between a MessagePad and a personal computer. Any changes made to the information on the Newton -- or on the personal computer -- will be automatically synchronized and updated between the two when they are connected. Newton Connection also includes a set of complementary Newton applications intended to let users create, view, and edit Newton information on a personal computer, even when the computer is not connected to a Newton.

Newton Connection is planned to be available in the following versions for either Macintosh or PCs running Windows: The Newton Connection Kit, which backs up and restores information; and The Newton Connection Pro Kit, which gives complete file to file synchronization. The product allows creation of a "virtual Newton" on the desktop.

Availability for Newton Connection products will be announced at a later date.

Keeping in Control

The Newton MessagePad also includes a collection of capabilities that help people capture and organize an array of information in the way that suits them best. The system can capture and file notes, sketches and other details on file, ready for almost instant access. Built-in calendars, alarms, and reminders help people keep track of busy lifestyles. Its built-in address book holds hundreds of names and addresses. The MessagePad's advanced recognition architecture not only understands printed and cursive script, but also cleans up drawings and diagrams, making them easier to understand and communicate.

Applications, Titles, Developer Support

More than 20 developers are announcing products for Newton MessagePad, including CE Software, Claris Corp., Fingertip, Great Plains, Integrated Systems, On Technology, Pastel and Pastel, Slate and Strategic Mapping. These products range from specialized realtor systems to titles for sports enthusiasts.  Many more developers are in the process of creating innovative new applications for the system. In addition, Apple's PIE Publishing group, Starcore, announced six titles ranging from financial assistance to interactive city maps. (see associated releases).


From the beginning, Apple had signaled its intention to broadly license Newton technology.  This activity has resulted in agreements with leading corporations around the world, including Sharp and Kyushu Matsushita Electric in Japan and Motorola in the United States. Siemens/ROLM will also be incorporating Newton technology in its forthcoming NotePhone product.  For customers, it is anticipated that this licensing effort will mean that software, titles and accessories can be used across a variety of products from these and other corporations.

Distribution and Availability

Initially the Newton MessagePad will be available in limited volume at Apple Computer resellers in Boston and New York. During the week of August 2 Newton MessagePad will also be sold at MacWorld Expo in Boston. By mid to late August, it is anticipated that the product will roll out across the United States, and will be available in more than 2,000 computer retailers and consumer electronic stores. Availability in some international markets will follow in September, with localized versions following through 1994.


There is no suggested retail pricing for the Newton MessagePad. Individual retailers will price the products according to their specific solutions offerings. However Apple expects the Newton MessagePad to be priced from $699 to $949, depending on configuration:

Apple, the Apple logo and Macintosh are registered trademarks, and Newton, MessagePad, Newton Connection and NotePhone are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc.

Product Specifications for Newton MessagePad and Accessories

Size and weight