Apple Newton Message Pad announced

August 1993
Apple Newton Message Pad announced

Announced in August 1993, the Newton Message Pad was Apple's first completely new product in many years. Indeed, it represented Apple's entry into (and perhaps creation of) an entirely new market: Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). The PDA market was barely present when the Newton was released, but other companies were working on similar devices.

The Newton Message Pad featured a variety of personal-organization applications, such as an address book, a calendar, notes, along with communications capabilities such as faxing and email. It featured a pen-based interface which used a word-based, trainable handwriting recognition engine. Unfortunately, this engine had been developed by a third party developer, and was notoriously difficult to use. While later Newton models would show improved hand-writing recognition, the Newton's reputation for poor recognition would haunt it for years to come.
The Newton ran on a 20 MHz ARM 610 processor, and used AAA batteries. It sold for $699 and was replaced in March 1994 by the Newton Message Pad 100. In October 1993, the NMP received a ROM upgrade, which patched the OS to version 1.10, which included a number of much-need bug fixes.

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