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Apple's Jobs probed over Newton reincarnation

post #1 of 59
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Apple chief executive Steve Jobs was reportedly none too thrilled earlier this year when he sat down for an interview with a reporter who posed a question about the company's skunkworks operation to produce a modern day Newton tablet rather than chat about the MacBook Air.

"At Macworld, when I asked Mr. Jobs about the idea of an iPod Touch in a larger 'Safari Pad' format, he snapped at me, 'I cant talk about unannounced products,'" writes the New York Times' John Markoff. "Intriguing."

In fact, Markoff claims that Apple's multi-touch technology was conceived as part of a "note-pad" sized project run by the company's then head of Macintosh hardware Tim Bucher, and that it was internally referred to as "Safari Pad." Implementing multi-touch as part of revolutionary cell phone came later, he suggests.

The report by Markoff and reaction by Jobs serve only to bolster claims laid out by AppleInsider last September in its report regarding a modern day reincarnation of the Newton MessagePad, reminiscent of a larger iPod touch, yet far more capable.

In his column in the Times this week, Markoff speculates that the long rumored device may be Apple's answer to Amazon's Kindle eBook reader given Jobs' blatant criticism of the product and its ability to succeed.

"A familiar Jobsian strategy is to denigrate an entire category -- he did this with cellphones, for example -- before reinventing it with Apple panache," he wrote.

For its part, AppleInsider believes that Apple's ambitions for the project go far and beyond a digital book reader.
post #2 of 59
I for one always assumed that the Newton pad we were hearing rumors about was in fact merely the macBook Air. Unless I am mistaken, the 13" screens seemed to be the only concrete piece of evidence we had about these rumored machines. Hopefully, Job's angry reaction was a telltale sign of something ca-ca-ca-cRAzy in the somewhat distant future, however I bet he would likely react in the same way if asked about holographic displays or Apple robots that nourish themselves entirely with banannas. (BTW, I have a rumor from a reliable source on that last one guys)
post #3 of 59
A new Newton is an instant purchase for me as I still have three of them laying around.
post #4 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by sausage&Onion View Post

I for one always assumed that the Newton pad we were hearing rumors about was in fact merely the macBook Air. Unless I am mistaken, the 13" screens seemed to be the only concrete piece of evidence we had about these rumored machines. Hopefully, Job's angry reaction was a telltale sign of something ca-ca-ca-cRAzy in the somewhat distant future, however I bet he would likely react in the same way if asked about holographic displays or Apple robots that nourish themselves entirely with banannas. (BTW, I have a rumor from a reliable source on that last one guys)

Exactly. Jobs wanted to talk about the Air. Macworld is a big free press extravaganza for Apple and whatever products it decides to announce there. Why would Jobs want to talk about an unsubstantiated rumor product that would only take the focus off his newest baby?

This is no evidence of anything at all. It's the same reaction the reporter would have gotten had he wanted to talk about ANYTHING other than the Air, the new iPhone release, Apple TV 2.0, or Time Capsule. Those were the only subjects on the table that day.
post #5 of 59
… indeed, people might not be reading novels, but they are reading alotof books about cooking and food. Not to mention life style magazines (Dazed & Confused, I.D., Vogue) and newspapers!

I do think Amazon's Kindle concept has a future (if only they would hire Jonathan Ive).
post #6 of 59
You know, maybe Kormac wasn't as off as some people thought he was back in the day. Apple obviously had some sort of major tablet project going, maybe he was getting snippets of that.
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post #7 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

Exactly. Jobs wanted to talk about the Air. Macworld is a big free press extravaganza for Apple and whatever products it decides to announce there. Why would Jobs want to talk about an unsubstantiated rumor product that would only take the focus off his newest baby?

This is no evidence of anything at all. It's the same reaction the reporter would have gotten had he wanted to talk about ANYTHING other than the Air, the new iPhone release, Apple TV 2.0, or Time Capsule. Those were the only subjects on the table that day.

I read that Times article, and I did find it to be a strange response. He can't talk about "unannounced products"? That does sound as though this is an "unannounced product".

He could have just denied the product possibility altogether.

He also could have said that he wanted to talk about products that Apple just came out with, rather than others' speculation about products.

Either would have been better than what he did say.
post #8 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I read that Times article, and I did find it to be a strange response. He can't talk about "unannounced products"? That does sound as though this is an "unannounced product".

He could have just denied the product possibility altogether.

He also could have said that he wanted to talk about products that Apple just came out with, rather than others' speculation about products.

Either would have been better than what he did say.

Oh he ALWAYS responds like that.
Remember a live interview when a reporter asked him about the iPhone, and he said "you know, we don't talk about unannounced products. If we ever do announce such a thing, I'd be happy to tell you all about it." He can't deny rumors, anaylsts would go crazy!
post #9 of 59
Apple has stated that the technology for iPhone was originally intended for a tablet (it was in the original Time article); it's not a secret or a rumor. Jobs has also indicated (at "All Things D") that one of his best decisions was killing a PDA / new Newton project at Apple; it's not clear if the PDA and the multitouch tablet are the same thing though.
post #10 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by blue2kdave View Post

You know, maybe Kormac wasn't as off as some people thought he was back in the day. Apple obviously had some sort of major tablet project going, maybe he was getting snippets of that.

and everyone gave him so much shit for most likely accurate info...
i always thought he was just a little psychic or psychotic.. i forget which one!
post #11 of 59
MACTouch here we come!!!! Boooyaaaaaa!! hhahahahyeeeee yawwwwww *very happy*
post #12 of 59
and I for one hope it's the lid of my iBook g4 12" reincarnated as a tablet. Given the iPod Touch and the Air, it's not too far off.
post #13 of 59
And its not going to be just one product either but a whole slew of mobile internet devices of all shapes, sizes, capacities, colors and flavors! I'll take mine in vanilla please!
post #14 of 59
With 18.5B in cash, why Apple doesn't test market products like this (read Newton form factor) is a bit of a mystery to me.

I want a Mac I can put in my pocket. The iPhone is close. Eee PC's 9-inch (even a 7-inch) is a size I would snap up if Apple would build one; very close to the size of the eMate, which I actually liked and used for a bit.
post #15 of 59
More broadly - do you think if concerns about the US economy persist, companies like Apple will begin to shelve new product launches until such time that they can gain maximum leverage over their launch excitement?
post #16 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck View Post

Oh he ALWAYS responds like that.
Remember a live interview when a reporter asked him about the iPhone, and he said "you know, we don't talk about unannounced products. If we ever do announce such a thing, I'd be happy to tell you all about it." He can't deny rumors, anaylsts would go crazy!

Ah, but you see, the iPhone did turn out to be a product!

If he is going to respond to unannounced products as unannounced products, he is giving it away.

He should respond that he doesn't address speculation about Apple products.
post #17 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

And its not going to be just one product either but a whole slew of mobile internet devices of all shapes, sizes, capacities, colors and flavors! I'll take mine in vanilla please!

Uhh No.
Apple doesn't make a slew of anything
3 desktop computers
3 notebook computers
4 iPods
1 iPhone

and someday

1 tablet computer
post #18 of 59
Think about it.
The next evolution of the iMac would be a computer without the computer and Keyboard.

Eventually tehe iMac would keep losing parts until it was just a monitor with multitouch.
Expensive. Check. Sexy, Check.

But just imagine a 17" Itouch. With a bluetooth keyboard. A Nice docking stand that has connections to ethernet, and a blueray player and external storage tucked away into the docking stand. Very portable. Big battery,
And drop dead sexy.
That would be a beautiful machine.
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post #19 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs was reportedly none too thrilled earlier this year when he sat down for an interview with a reporter who posed a question about the company's skunkworks operation to produce a modern day Newton tablet rather than chat about the MacBook Air.

"At Macworld, when I asked Mr. Jobs about the idea of an iPod Touch in a larger 'Safari Pad' format, he snapped at me, 'I cant talk about unannounced products,'" writes the New York Times' John Markoff. "Intriguing."

In fact, Markoff claims that Apple's multi-touch technology was conceived as part of a "note-pad" sized project run by the company's then head of Macintosh hardware Tim Bucher, and that it was internally referred to as "Safari Pad." Implementing multi-touch as part of revolutionary cell phone came later, he suggests.

The report by Markoff and reaction by Jobs serve only to bolster claims laid out by AppleInsider last September in its report regarding a modern day reincarnation of the Newton MessagePad, reminiscent of a larger iPod touch, yet far more capable.

In his column in the Times this week, Markoff speculates that the long rumored device may be Apple's answer to Amazon's Kindle eBook reader given Jobs' blatant criticism of the product and its ability to succeed.

"A familiar Jobsian strategy is to denigrate an entire category -- he did this with cellphones, for example -- before reinventing it with Apple panache," he wrote.

For its part, AppleInsider believes that Apple's ambitions for the project go far and beyond a digital book reader.

What a nut job. Look at the grand scale of speculation in that statement. This guy is a total wacko.
These people need to get a grip on reality. I have long believed that many of these guys pull this stuff right out of their ass, but this really is Ryan Meader style fanaticism.
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post #20 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by cherrypop View Post

With 18.5B in cash, why Apple doesn't test market products like this (read Newton form factor) is a bit of a mystery to me.

I want a Mac I can put in my pocket. The iPhone is close. Eee PC's 9-inch (even a 7-inch) is a size I would snap up if Apple would build one; very close to the size of the eMate, which I actually liked and used for a bit.

Oh he does test to be sure. But just not tests you would be privy too......ever.
post #21 of 59
This article has gone from the realm of speculation to pure fiction. Asinine.

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post #22 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr O View Post

I do think Amazon's Kindle concept has a future (if only they would hire Jonathan Ive).

Meh. As a voracious reader, I can tell you there is a big difference between being licensed to view a book and owning a book.

That said, I still want a MacTouch/TouchBook/whatever in the worst way. Just not for reading books on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I read that Times article, and I did find it to be a strange response. He can't talk about "unannounced products"? That does sound as though this is an "unannounced product".



Kind of like asking someone when they stopped beating their wife!

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post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrang View Post

More broadly - do you think if concerns about the US economy persist, companies like Apple will begin to shelve new product launches until such time that they can gain maximum leverage over their launch excitement?

It depends on how bad the economy gets. In many downturns, the wealthier demographic
is not much affected. Since Apple creates a lot of products for this niche, they would be
less affected than companies which produce bargain price range products. If things get
really bad, all companies will hunker down to some extent until the economy improves.
As someone else posted, Apple's large cash hoard would also be an advantage in a
weak economy.
post #24 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by cherrypop View Post

With 18.5B in cash, why Apple doesn't test market products like this (read Newton form factor) is a bit of a mystery to me.

I want a Mac I can put in my pocket. The iPhone is close. Eee PC's 9-inch (even a 7-inch) is a size I would snap up if Apple would build one; very close to the size of the eMate, which I actually liked and used for a bit.

Maybe that Mac in one's pocket could be the evolution of the ipod touch?
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post #25 of 59
Oh, it's definitely coming. Why? Because Microsoft has failed at the Tablet PC, and yet everyone still wants a tablet PC. Apple is in love with touch computing, they're stepping into segments when other companies have failed to "get it right" (AppleTV and iPhone), and Jobs loves to beat Microsoft on hardware and interface design. Jobs picks projects because they're targets with a demand attached to them, and a better tablet PC has a giant bullseye on it. Why in the world would Apple prohibit keyboard attachments for the iPhone (banned in the SDK and Apple isn't making one) if they weren't thinking of a small form computing device like a new Newton?
post #26 of 59
The new Intel Silverthorne (aka, Centrino Atom) will make it possible. the full Mac OS X 10.5.2 on your pocket and on your palm.
post #27 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelcruncher View Post

Oh, it's definitely coming. Why? Because Microsoft has failed at the Tablet PC, and yet everyone still wants a tablet PC. Apple is in love with touch computing, they're stepping into segments when other companies have failed to "get it right" (AppleTV and iPhone), and Jobs loves to beat Microsoft on hardware and interface design. Jobs picks projects because they're targets with a demand attached to them, and a better tablet PC has a giant bullseye on it. Why in the world would Apple prohibit keyboard attachments for the iPhone (banned in the SDK and Apple isn't making one) if they weren't thinking of a small form computing device like a new Newton?

Correct that to "I think everyone wants one".
post #28 of 59
I'll repeat my wish that they create a 5.5"x8.5" touch-style computer. That would be an ideal format for me.

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post #29 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrang View Post

More broadly - do you think if concerns about the US economy persist, companies like Apple will begin to shelve new product launches until such time that they can gain maximum leverage over their launch excitement?

They have no choice but launch new products THIS YEAR! It is critical that they launch the 3G iphone in Q2 if they want to reach their 10million iphone sales goal for 2008. They are not letting "concerns" over the economy dictate to them what they have to do. They know exactly what they have to do. Dude, the SDK is this week man on the 6th. And its an understatement to say that it will be an important day for the company. Plus the rumors are getting stronger and stronger that the mactouch/newton2.0 will be later this year as well. In fact, its starting to look like its going to be a family of products in a new category called "netbooks" or "nettops".
They will not be "shelving" any products this year. It will be very unhealthy for them if they do.
post #30 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

This article has gone from the realm of speculation to pure fiction. Asinine.

Shuddup. we all know your secretly crossing your fingers.
post #31 of 59
Erm couldn't "I cant talk about unannounced products," also mean "i'm not here to speculate on rumors". I mean if it's unannounced then it's simply vaporware right
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post #32 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post

Erm couldn't "I cant talk about unannounced products," also mean "i'm not here to speculate on rumors". I mean if it's unannounced then it's simply vaporware right

It's Fantasyware.

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post #33 of 59
Remember you heard it here first.

A Apple that is not much bigger then the iTouch, UNTIL you UNFOLD the screen, once, twice, three or maybe four times.

As you unfold it, the image takes up whatever size size you have it opened to.

So you open the ipad and the screen is on the top half (and it's 3" x 5") Now you open that again and it's 6" x 5" and you then open it again (towards the center) and it's now 6" x 10" in size

You got to love this idea which I patented 4 months ago. This way when Apple comes out with, I'll be able to sue them for using my idea

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post #34 of 59
Even Helen Keller saw this one coming.
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post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelcruncher View Post

Oh, it's definitely coming. Why? Because Microsoft has failed at the Tablet PC, and yet everyone still wants a tablet PC. Apple is in love with touch computing, they're stepping into segments when other companies have failed to "get it right" (AppleTV and iPhone), and Jobs loves to beat Microsoft on hardware and interface design. Jobs picks projects because they're targets with a demand attached to them, and a better tablet PC has a giant bullseye on it. Why in the world would Apple prohibit keyboard attachments for the iPhone (banned in the SDK and Apple isn't making one) if they weren't thinking of a small form computing device like a new Newton?

When did Apple say they are prohibiting keyboard attachments..
post #36 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Even Helen Keller saw this one coming.

Ha ha, he said "Even Hellen Keller saw this coming..." which is REALLY funny because Hellen Keller is BLIND, and can't see anything at ALL!! Oh Goodness that was rich, absolutely riotous, I say....

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post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoami View Post

and everyone gave him so much shit for most likely accurate info...
i always thought he was just a little psychic or psychotic.. i forget which one!

Is he still working on the plastics? He started almost ten years ago!

Honestly, everyone was making predictions of tablets and newton replacements back then, mainly because the competition had them. Given enough time almost every prediction will come true in some way. Just before the iPod was introduced I predicted that it would have wireless built in and would allow one to browse and stream music from a computer. It never happened. It might this year or ten years from now though. It doesn't mean I had inside information.

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post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

It's Fantasyware.

When Apple comes out with their entire FAMILY of mactouch products I'm going to quote what you said in a new signature right along Bill Gate's "Computers will never need more than 640K of RAM"!
post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by cherrypop View Post

I want a Mac I can put in my pocket. The iPhone is close. Eee PC's 9-inch (even a 7-inch) is a size I would snap up if Apple would build one..

Wow.. you have big pockets!
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post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Ah, but you see, the iPhone did turn out to be a product!

If he is going to respond to unannounced products as unannounced products, he is giving it away.

He should respond that he doesn't address speculation about Apple products.

Nonsense: that's not how this works.

He answered the way he did deliberately. This is how he builds the buzz...just as he did with the iPhone. It may be a year, maybe three, but it's all over but the speculating (and releasing, and bitching...).

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