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  • 1993

Hardware Description

Announced in August 1993, the Newton Message Pad was Apple's first completely new product in many years. Indeed, it represented Apple's entry into (and perhaps creation of) an entirely new market: Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). The PDA market was barely present when the Newton was released, but other companies were working on similar devices.The Newton Message Pad featured a variety of personal-organization applications, such as an address book, a calendar, notes, along with communications capabilities such as faxing and email. It featured a pen-based interface which used a word-based, trainable handwriting recognition engine. Unfortunately, this engine had been developed by a third party developer, and was notoriously difficult to use. While later Newton models would show improved hand-writing recognition, the Newton's reputation for poor recognition would haunt it for years to come.