[NTLK] How many Newtons were sold?

Ed Kummel tech_ed at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 27 15:20:03 EDT 2010

It would have never happened....getting Newtons in the quantities listed was just impossible. I have several stories I've documented on this site where I attempted to get thousands of Newtons from Apple to supply to various large organizations and government agencies. Attempts to get them out of Apple directly just resulted in my being told that I would have to go through the Newton stores to get the Newtons I needed. Most Newton stores received a dozen or so Newtons per shipment and my calls to several stores I was told I could only purchase 2 Newtons at a time....go figure...I could have made *SOOO* much money but Apple refused to sell them...It was very disheartening to tell you the truth. And then one day, I was at a Mitre building in Reston VA, discussing multi-path wireless network protocols when my AllPoints card which was plugged into my Newton 2100, received an email on my DTS mailbox. I read the email right there in front of the Mitre person I
 was working with and showed it to him. It was from a Newton store I was subscribed to, and it said that because Apple was killing the Newton, they were closing up shop...Needless to say, that meeting I was in was also cut short. Mitre eventually went Palm..which my company didn't do anything with. Oh well...
web/gadget guru


By Galactic God in Futurama

"When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all."

--- On Tue, 4/27/10, James Fraser <wheresthatistanbul-newtontalk at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: James Fraser <wheresthatistanbul-newtontalk at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [NTLK] How many Newtons were sold?
To: newtontalk at newtontalk.net
Date: Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 6:32 AM


--- 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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