That was CNN’s description of Apple’s Newton tablet
when it was first unveiled in 1992 at CES, the electronics tradeshow.
Billed as a technology that would revolutionize people’s lives, the Newton struggled for several years before Apple finally killed it off in 1998
But many of those technological features underpin a device that today has helped make Apple the world’s most valuable public company, with its market cap exceeding $2 trillion
last month — the iPad.
The iPad pulled in around $6.6 billion in revenue last quarter, accounting for 11% of Apple’s total sales. And all eyes now are on a virtual event scheduled for Tuesday, when the company could potentially announce a new version of its popular tablet.
The Apple Pencil, a stylus that Apple first launched in 2015
and has since upgraded, is also a modern version of the original Newton’s note-taking digital pen, with much of the same functionality.
Apple predicted that Newton would trigger a “huge industry that links information and telecommunications” by the early 2000s.
Given the smartphones and tablets that are now essential to our daily lives, that prediction has definitely come true — but the Newton wasn’t quite the direct catalyst it was touted as.