Apple Wiki
Apple Wiki

The MessagePad 120 was a touchscreen mobile device that was released by Apple Computer as part of its MessagePad tablet computer line.


The MessagePad 120 was announced and began shipping in the United States on January 30, 1995.[1][2] The 2 MB configuration had already been released in Germany in October 1994 as the higher memory capacity was necessary for improved German language support.[3] Due to tepid sales, Apple announced a rebate program for the purchase of a MessagePad 120 and qualified accessory.[4] It was discontinued in June 1996.[3]


The MessagePad 120 utilized the form factor of the of the MessagePad 110, but without the rubberized surface. It used the same 20 MHz ARM 610 processor, and was available in two memory configurations: with 1 or 2 MB of static RAM. 639 or 687 KB was used by Newton OS 1.3 in these respective configurations, leaving 385 or 1,361 KB available for user data. Storage space could be expanded through the PCMCIA Type II slot which increased power capacity to 325 mA, compared to 115 mA in the MessagePad 110. The 320 x 240 monochrome LCD display featured improved visibility over its predecessor.[3]

System updates[]

On November 13, 1995, unveiled Newton OS 2.0 running on a MessagePad 120 at COMDEX in Las Vegas, Nevada with release to the public scheduled for December 1.[5] On November 28, 1995, engineers from the Newton Systems Group visited the Stanford Newton Users Group to personally demonstrate a MessagePad 120 running Newton OS 2.0, a substantial rewrite of the operating system. Socketed ROM allowed for easier upgrades by an Apple Authorized Service Provider.[3]


Motorola licensed and produced a variant of the MessagePad 120 with a 5MB ROM and wireless support as the Motorola Marco, which was released in January 1995 with a built-in wireless modem.[6] Digital Ocean produced a ruggedized variant called the Tarpon.[7] Harris Network Support Systems produced an industrial variant called the Harris SuperTech 2000.[8][9]


  1. Apple Announces the MessagePad 120 With Enhanced Features by Apple Computer, Tech Insider. 1995-01-30.
  2. Today in Apple history: Newton MessagePad 120 is Apple’s first great mobile device by Luke Dormehl, Cult of Mac. 2020-01-30.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Luckie, Douglas. Newton MessagePad 120 (with OS 1.3 or 2.0). Michigan State University. Archived from the original on 2014-03-23.
  4. Apple Announces Nationwide Rebate Program for MessagePad 120s, Apple Computer. 1995-05-10. Archived 1999-01-16.
  5. New Newton Operating System Will Debut on Apple's MessagePad 120 Personal Digital Assistant, Apple Computer. 1995-11-13.
  6. Luckie, Douglas. Motorola's 'Marco' Wireless Communicator. Michigan State University. Archived from the original on 2014-03-23.
  7. Tarpon Spec Sheet, Digital Ocean. Archived 1997-01-24.
  8. "Discord in hardwareland", Network World, IDG Network World Inc, 19 February 1996. Retrieved on 18 July 2015. 
  9. SuperTech 2000 Mobile Communications & Information System, Harris Network Support Systems. Archived 1996-11-03.

External links[]


IPod Nano 6 This article is a semistub. You can help by expanding it with some more information.
Newton OS logo   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