Re: [NTLK] Jobs, Skully, Apple II, and Newton...

From: Patrick Jendraszak (
Date: Thu Mar 21 2002 - 22:54:51 EST

I don't know, but the best article I've read about this was the Special
Report, "Why Did Apple Kill the Newton?" by David MacNeill, executive
editor of Pen Computing (Vol. 5, No. 2, June, 1998). Unfortunately, I
could not find a copy of it on the web. I posted a summary before, which
I offer below:

1. Newton never made any money. MacNeill concludes that it is clear
Newton was a losing proposition financially for most of its five-year
history. However, he states "Apple management did not understand how far
ahead of the game they were, and that they gave up too soon to reap the
rewards that a healthy Newton platform could have provided." Very likely.

2. Steve Jobs hates John Sculley. Since Sculley started the Newton (and
also sacked Jobs) , MacNeill surmises that Jobs fired the former exec's
flunkies and snuffed out the pet project(s). Unlikely.

3. Intel wouldn't commit to the StrongARM. MacNeill notes that Intel
made the StrongARM and, because of Apple's commitment to the PowerPC
architecture, he didn't want to "owe" anything to Intel. Likely.

4. Newton would compete with Mac NC's. It was thought, at the time, that
the next big thing from Apple was a stripped down Mac that would rely on
a server computer for everything except processing power. MacNeill
notes that if Apple was thinking of this type of thin client, it would
have been silly to have the Newton as well. Iffy.

5. Bill Gates bought the education market. While MacNeill does not fully
ascribe to this concept, he was part of a Newton OS2.0 party at Comdex
when Gates saw the MP2000 for the first time. MacNeill said he was told
Gates "flipped out" over the technology. Former Newton developers have
also indicated that Apple got an undisclosed amount of cash in addition
to the $150 million stock buyout -- perhaps increasing the total to half
a billion. "Among the stipulations to which Jobs allegedly agreed was
that he would prematurely snuff Newton, thereby deliberately angering
the education market so they would adopt Windows CE-based eMate-like
devices." Iffy.

The conclusion? It was probably a case of opportunity squandered. After
Sculley left, Spindler basically had no understanding or commitment to
Newton. It was Spindler who began the talk of selling off the Newton or
axing it. Gil Amelio's book seems to support this, and basically shows
that Amelio liked it, because of the technology, but that he knew it ---
along with a whole slew of things at Apple --- was being handled wrong.
In all likelihood, Steve Jobs came along and just put the finishing
touches on a killing that had been going on for some time. He didn't
allow it to spin off because if the technology did in fact take off
later, stockholders would have been extremely dissatisfied.

On Thursday, March 21, 2002, at 01:41 PM, John Goggan wrote:

> "William R. Dickson" wrote:
>> I don't think Jobs cared about the Apple II; the Lisa/Mac was his pet
>> project.
> But I thought that there was always talk that Scully killed something
> of Jobs
> and that was related to Jobs later killing Scully's Newton -- kind of
> an ego
> thing? If that is the case, then what was it that Scully killed of
> Jobs?
> Couldn't be the Lisa, eh?
> Or is that rumor completely inaccurate? I just always thought that
> Scully
> immediately killed something of Jobs -- and then, when back, Jobs killed
> something of Scully's (the Newton line)?
> - John...
> --
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