25 years since Apple’s classic handheld computer Newton was discontinued

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On February 27, 1998, Apple announced that all production of the Newton had ceased and that there would be no more models of the innovative handheld computer.

The announcement did not come as a big surprise, as Apple founder Steve Jobs promised to purge products that did not sell well enough when he returned to the company at the end of 1997.

Development of the Newton Messagepad began as early as 1987, but it would take until August 1993 before the first model was launched. After that, it didn’t take long before the sequels Messagepad 100, Messagepad 120 and Messagepad 130 saw the light of day.

These models received mixed reviews, while many appreciated being able to carry a small computer in their pocket, others stared blindly at the poor battery life and high price tag.

The lack of a keyboard made many refrain from a purchase, but when Apple crawled to the cross and launched a model with a keyboard (Emate 300), there was still no momentum in sales.

Although it has now been 25 years since the discontinuation of Newton, there are still users who stubbornly keep their PDAs alive and organize annual conferences. On Ebay, well-maintained specimens can be sold for thousands of kroner.

Over the years, there have been a number of rumors about new models of Newton, but with products such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, a revival does not seem to be on the cards.

If you want to know more about Apple’s classic handheld computer, we can recommend Love Notes to Newton, a documentary film by Noah Leon in which about 40 people who were there at the time are interviewed.

A trailer for the film can be seen below:

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