John Sculley, a former Apple CEO who was at the helm of the Cupertino company between 1983 and 1993, has no doubts that it can revolutionize the television set. If anyone’s going to change the experience and the “first principles” of TV, Sculley told the BBC in a recent interview, it’s going to be Apple.
It’s retro-future time again at Cult of Mac. These ads, circa 1993, for the ill-starred PDA the Newton sound a lot like the all-singing, all dancing expectations of portable computing expected at tomorrow’s tablet announcement.
Some of the salient claims from the “Who is Newton?” ad:
“Newton talks to fax machines, laser printers to telephones (NB – a landline) and computers!”
And remember, the Newton is for “All you mobile professionals who like cool stuff.”
While the “Where is Newton?” spot promised portability and connectivity on the go:
“Newton can get you from the urban jungle to the nearest hamlet…You can send a letter or a memo and faxes from places where there are no fax machine. Newton is everywhere and that’s not a bad place to be.”
And when the Newton did not live up to expectations — handwriting recognition being one of the big flaws in attempting to send faxes from outpost gas stations as per the ad — here’s what one crystal-ball gazing analyst told the New York Times in 1995:
“In the long run there is no doubt people will carry around small computers much like pagers today,” said Amy Wohl, president of Wohl Associates, a Narberth, Pa., consulting group. “But it’s still not clear that Apple will be one of the major providers of these systems.”