[NTLK] How many Newtons were sold?

James Fraser wheresthatistanbul-newtontalk at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 27 06:32:23 EDT 2010


--- On Mon, 4/26/10, Ryan <newtontalk at me.com> wrote:

> It's roughly 60,000 per year.  About a 5 year
> lifespan.  Problem though is that there was so much
> research and development that it was still quite a financial
> loss even at sales of 300,000. I've also got some research
> and development numbers and the cost is staggering.  

It might be worth pointing out that the potential revenue Apple gave up when they (or, perhaps more accurately, when Steve Jobs) gave the Newton the ax at the exact moment they did was staggering, too, if the below is correct.

>From the Newton Hall of Fame (https://www.msu.edu/~luckie/hallofame.htm):

>Five months later (February 27, 1998, Press Release) Steve Jobs killed the >Newton OS, the MessagePad, and eMate300. This surprised many, especially >the state of Texas that was planning on buying several million eMates to >replace students textbooks and the entire country of Australia that >actually planned to replace the governments aging PC computers with all >eMates. We call it "snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory." Why, >because a laser focus on Macintosh was needed to revive/save Apple >Computer. 

If saving Apple was the paramount concern, I can't help but think that selling eMates on that kind of scale would have gone a long way toward pulling Apple out of their financial slump, especially given the fact that there was nothing like it on the market at the time.

Yes, I can understand Jobs' reluctance to invest *further* resources into R&D for the Newton/eMate.  After all, a company that is low on dough can hardly afford a lavish expenditure on R&D and needs to focus on getting product out the door to improve their cash flow. 

However, when you have people ready to hand you their money for a /finished/ product and you choose that time to tell them, "Sorry, we're discontinuing it!" it looks a little odd.  Particularly when the head of the firm was giving assurances that, "the Emate has a bright future"  and "sales of the current MessagePad are brisk," a few months before:


That being the case, I'm not entirely convinced that the thought process that went into giving the Newton the ax was rooted exclusively in cold-blooded decision making. ¬_¬


James Fraser

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