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A MessagePad 2000 with stylus and keyboard.

The MessagePad was a series of touchscreen mobile devices and the very first tablet computer released by Apple Computer as part of its Newton platform.

History

Development

Three Newton models were originally planned for release: a large 9 x 12 inch version codenamed Senior, a mid-sized 6 x 9 inch version that was quickly cancelled, and a small 4.5 x 7 inch version codenamed Junior which would go on to become the MessagePad.[1]

Release

On May 29, 1992, Apple CEO John Sculley unveiled the first device, tentatively called the Newton NotePad,[2] during the keynote address of the Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago, Illinois.[3][4] However, it was still beset by thousands of bugs when 4,000 prototype units went into production on May 26, 1993 for use at point-of-purchase displays at retail stores. The first MessagePad finally began shipping on August 3, 1993 at Macworld Expo Boston for the base price of US$699.[1] It ran a monochrome version of Newton OS, which was advanced for its day, and came with a stylus similar to the Nintendo DS.[5] By 1995, tepid sales of the MessagePad 120 forced Apple to resort to rebates to help move inventory of devices and accessories.[6] The MessagePad 2000 and eMate 300 introduced grayscale support in March 1997. Though this helped improve sales,[7] the Newton platform was discontinued on February 27, 1998.[5] Around 200,000 units had been sold.[8]

Legacy

The iPhone and iPad, released in 2007 and 2010 respectively, are considered to be spiritual successors to the MessagePad.[9] A similar stylus did not appear from Apple until 2015 with the Apple Pencil for the iPad Pro.[10] In 2020, iPadOS 14 introduced handwriting recognition for Apple's iPad line.[11]

Models

Model Processor Memory Newton OS Released Notes
MessagePad
H1000
20 MHz
ARM 610
640 KB static RAM 1.0 to 1.1.1 1993-08-03 to
1994-03-04
also known as "Original
MessagePad" or "OMP"[12]
MessagePad
100
20 MHz
ARM 610
640 KB static RAM 1.2 to 1.3 1994-03-04 to
1995-04-01
same hardware as "OMP"[12]
MessagePad
110
20 MHz
ARM 610
1 MB static RAM 1.2 to 1.3 1994-03-04 to
1995-04-01
second form factor[13]
MessagePad
120
20 MHz
ARM 610
1 or 2 MB static RAM 1.3 to 2.0 1994-10-01 to
1996-06-01
improved display[14]
MessagePad
130
20 MHz
ARM 610
2.5 MB static RAM 2.0 1996-03-25 to
1997-04-01
added backlighting[15]
eMate 300 25 MHz
ARM 710a
1 MB dynamic RAM
2 MB flash RAM
2.1 1997-03-07 to
1998-02-27
mini-laptop form factor[16]
MessagePad
2000
162 MHz
StrongARM 110
1 MB dynamic RAM
4 MB flash RAM
2.1 1997-03-24 to
1998-02-27
final form factor[17]
MessagePad
2100
162 MHz
StrongARM 110
4 MB dynamic RAM
4 MB flash RAM
2.1 1997-11-07 to
1998-02-27
final model[17]

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Story Behind Apple’s Newton by Tom Hormby, Low End Mac. 2013-08-06.
  2. Apple gets to the core of a consumer division by Mark Potts, The Washington Post. 1993-01-17.
  3. On this day in 1992: Apple CEO John Sculley unveils the Newton, Apple's personal digital assistant, at CES in Chicago by Jon Erlichman, Twitter. 2017-05-29.
  4. Happy 25th birthday, Apple Newton, you beautiful failure by Stan Schroeder, Yahoo! Finance. 2017-05-29.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Why did Apple kill the Newton? by David MacNeill, Pen Computing Magazine. 1998-06.
  6. Apple Announces Nationwide Rebate Program for MessagePad 120s, Apple Computer. 1995-05-10. Archived 1999-01-16.
  7. The Fallen Apple by Owen W. Linzmayer, Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company p.200. 2004.
  8. Apple Drops Hand-Held Newton Line, Abandoning Plans to Spin Off the Unit by Jim Carlton, The Wall Street Journal. 1998-03-02.
  9. Remembering the Newton MessagePad, 20 years later by Benj Edwards, Macworld. 2013-08-27.
  10. Review: Apple Pencil is the best iPad writing tool yet … if you can handle the Pro’s size by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac. 2015-11-24.
  11. iPadOS 14 introduces new features designed specifically for iPad, Apple Inc. 2020-06-22.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Luckie, Douglas. Newton MessagePad. Michigan State University. Archived from the original on 2014-02-26.
  13. Luckie, Douglas. Newton MessagePad 110. Michigan State University. Archived from the original on 2014-03-23.
  14. Luckie, Douglas. Newton MessagePad 120 (with OS 1.3 or 2.0). Michigan State University. Archived from the original on 2014-03-23.
  15. Luckie, Douglas. MessagePad 130 with Newton 2.0 Operating System. Michigan State University. Archived from the original on 2014-03-23.
  16. Luckie, Douglas. Apple eMate 300. Michigan State University. Archived from the original on 2014-03-23.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Luckie, Douglas. MessagePad 2100/2000 with OS 2.1. Michigan State University. Archived from the original on 2014-03-23.

See also

  • eMate 300, a Newton device in a mini-laptop form factor.

External links

Articles

Tutorials

IPod Nano 6.jpg This article is a semistub. You can help by expanding it.
Newton OS logo.png   Newton
MessagePad : H1000 · 100 | 110 · 120 · 130 | 2000 · 2100
eMate 300 | MessageSlate | Newton, Inc. | Newton OS | StarCore
Third parties : Digital Ocean Tarpon · Seahorse | Harris SuperTech 2000 | Motorola Marco | Schlumberger Watson
Sharp Expert Pad PI-7000 · 7100 | Siemens NotePhone · Online Terminal
Open source community : Einstein | Worldwide Newton Conference
Discontinued in February 1998
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