Apple Announces the MessagePad 120 With Enhanced Features

Newton platform continues to offer a wide range of extensible communications and software solutions

Cupertino, California -- January 30, 1995 -- In a further refinement of its Newton(R) OS-based products, Apple Computer, Inc. today announced the Apple(R) MessagePad(TM) 120, featuring one and two megabyte (MB) models, improved industrial design and screen clarity as well as a variety of new applications from third party developers and StarCorex, Apple's Newton software publishing and distribution arm.

"Overall, the MessagePad 120 represents the continued commitment to and evolution of Apple's Newton-based hardware products and is a response to customer feedback," said Shane Robison, vice president and general manager of the Personal Interactive Electronic Division of Apple Computer.

"As the pioneers in the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) product category, Apple is closely listening to the market to ensure that we deliver next generation products that meet customers' needs.  The MessagePad 120 is proof that Apple continues to forge ahead in the evolution of its own Newton-based products while continuing to work with third parties to deliver a wide range of mobile professional and vertical market solutions.

"The combination of both the technical improvements and the ongoing market development by Apple and other Newton licensees such as Motorola and Sharp, has increased Newton platform momentum in the marketplace."

Additionally, as part of the company's strategy to provide its customers with robust, up-to-date system software, Apple announced today a system update for Apple MessagePad 100 and 110 owners in the U.S.

MessagePad 120 Features

Based on extensive customer feedback, the MessagePad 120 will be available in a 1MB and 2MB configuration, with the 2MB model providing users with nearly triple the user storage space as compared to the MessagePad 110.  This additional memory can be used to store more custom and third party software in the product's internal memory, thus freeing up the PCMCIA slot for add-on communications products and peripherals. Both the 1MB and 2MB versions of the MessagePad 120 have improved features over the earlier models, which are designed to enhance the product's ease of use and durability.  Industrial design improvements include a removable lid, improved screen visibility, and a PCMCIA lock located on the side, allowing for fast and easy removal of PCMCIA cards when the lid is folded back.

Responding to demands for mobile communications solutions, the PCMCIA slot on the MessagePad 120 now has more than double the power rating, from 115 mA in the 110 to 325 mA in the 120, enabling MessagePad owners to use add-on communications products and peripherals which require additional power. Examples of such applications include high power modems for radio frequency and wireless local area networking solutions.

Bundled Software and Hardware

Adding to the catalog of more than 100 commercial applications worldwide for Newton OS-based products from StarCore and third parties, Apple has created productivity-enhancing solutions for MessagePad users. The MessagePad 120 comes bundled with the following products at no extra charge:

In addition, the 2MB configuration comes with:

The MessagePad 120 Offers Solutions

Designed for mobile professionals who need more than just a simple organizer, the MessagePad 120 provides extensible communications solutions and the power to capture, organize and communicate information from the palm of your hand. It can be customized to meet the needs of the individual user with a variety of software titles and third party communications products (see release entitled, "Apple Outlines Plethora of Newton Wireless Communications Solutions at MessagePad 120 launch," for details).

Recognizing that software solutions are critical to enhancing the productivity of MessagePad customers, Apple continues to offer a range of compelling titles, both from StarCore and third party developers.  Examples of such titles from StarCore include: ACT! for Newton, the best selling desktop contact manager optimized for Newton OS-based devices; Berlitz Interpreter, which translates 20,000 words and 15,000 phrases in five languages; and PowerForms by Sestra, Inc., containing business and personal forms for mobile professionals.  StarCore is also offering, for a limited time, the Newton Enhancement Pack - a 2MB PCMCIA flash card preloaded with three top selling titles:  Newton Utilities, four applications with unique features that maximize memory and manage your software; Graffit, the popular data entry software by Palm Computing; and Action Names by iambic Software, which extends the functionality of the built-in address book and calendar on your MessagePad.  The three titles on a 2MB card are available in computer stores worldwide, priced in the United States at $149.

Distribution and Availability

The Apple MessagePad 120 will be available today across the United States in more than 1,000 computer retailers, Apple resellers and consumer electronic stores.  The product is currently available in Germany and expected to be available in France, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and various countries throughout Europe, Latin America and Asia.  Pricing and bundled software will vary between countries, so customers should check with their local retailer for details.


The Apple Message Pad 120 with a 1MB configuration is Apple priced at US$599 and the 2MB configuration is US$699.  Pricing will vary outside the United States, international customers should contact their local Apple Computer dealer or reseller for specific pricing information.

System 1.3 Update Features

Two versions of the system update are available, version 1.3 (414313) for MessagePad 100 users, and version 1.3 (345025) for MessagePad 110 users. Among the software enhancements, the upgrade increases the reliability of erasing PCMCIA flash cards and improves the product's ability to remember user preferences.  Notification windows, such as alarms, now remain open when the MessagePad goes to sleep, allowing users to receive notification even when the Newton is unattended for a period of time and the '*' and '#' characters may now be used when dialing phone numbers from the call slip. For example, users may set the dialing prefix to '*70' to turn off call waiting, if their phone system allows it.

System 1.3 Distribution

The system update, as well as the Newton modem and Motorola set up packages, can be obtained using a personal computer, modem, and the Newton Connection Kit or a serial cable, from the following online services: eWorld, Applelink, America OnLine, CompuServe, Genie, and the Internet at: Info.Hed.Apple.Com. [For the specific online pathways, see Editor's Note at the end of this release.]  In addition, customers can receive the 1.3 system update with a Newton serial or PCMCIA modem by dialing into the Newton Enhancement Server for automatic download at:  1 (800) NEWTON9 or (408) 446-0825.  Customers without access to online services can receive the System 1.3 update on a diskette for a nominal shipping and handling charge by calling 1-800-315-2246, starting February 6th.  Customers who need additional technical assistance regarding the update may call 1-800-SOS-APPL.

It is strongly recommended that users synchronize their MessagePad with a Connection Kit or back up to a PCMCIA card prior to installing any system update.

Apple Computer, Inc., a recognized pioneer and innovator in the information industry, creates powerful solutions based on easy to use personal computers, servers, peripherals, software, online services, and personal digital assistants.  Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) develops, manufactures, licenses and markets products, technologies and services for the business, education, consumer, scientific & engineering and government markets in over 140 countries.

Apple, the Apple logo, AppleLink, Macintosh and Newton are registered trademarks; Mac, NewtonMail, eWorld, MessagePad, and StarCore are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc.  All other brand names mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and are respectfully acknowledged.


* If you are interested in receiving Apple press releases by fax, call 1-800-APPL-FAX (1-800-227-5329) and enter I.D. number 6172.

* Pathways for access to the System 1.3 update: eWorld: (Jan. 30 - Feb. 20, 1995) Shortcut "Newton" Software Exchange-> New Files & Upload Library, (After Feb. 20) Shortcut "Newton" Software Exchange-> Official Apple Software-> Newton System Updates

AppleLink: Newton-> World of Newton-> Newton Software Updates

AOL: (Jan. 30 - Feb. 20,  1995) Keyword "Newton" Software Libraries-> New Files & Free Uploading, (After Feb. 20) Keyword "Newton" Software Libraries-> Apple & StarCore Software

Compuserve: Go "APLSUP" File Library #14 or Go "Newton" File Library #8

Genie: page 1540 (ftp)
/Apple.Support.Area/Apple.Software.Updates/Newton (gopher)
Apple Support Area/Apple.Software.Updates/Newton.SW/System.Updates (World Wide Web)