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This is how Apple advertised the Newton in the ’90s. The first “iPhone” seen in detail

Devices and style from another era that might seem current.

This is how Apple advertised the Newton in the ’90s. The first “iPhone” seen in detail
David Bernal Raspall

David Bernal Raspall

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In the early ’90s, Apple ventured into uncharted territory with the launch of the Newton, a personal digital assistant (PDA) that promised to revolutionize how we interacted with technology. With a compact design, a pen-based interface, and internet connectivity capabilities, the Newton wasn’t just an innovative product for its time; it was also an early vision of the future, later materialized as the iPhone.

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The iPhone of the 90s, so to speak

Apple’s advertising strategy for the Newton was as cutting-edge as the device itself. Through a series of television commercials now coming to light again thanks to the collection found below these lines, Apple not only showcased the features of the Newton but also aimed to connect with a much more professional audience.

Already setting the foundation for Apple’s current advertising, these commercials, infused with humor and creativity, highlighted the capabilities of the Newton, from its handwriting recognition to its ability to keep users connected and productive on the go.

Though today the Newton is mainly remembered by tech enthusiasts and Apple fans, at the time, it represented a quantum leap in terms of what a portable device could achieve. With features like Scribble, allowing users to handwrite and convert it into digital text, the Newton was not just a product but a statement of Apple’s intentions regarding the future of personal computing.

However, the story of the Newton also includes its abrupt end. With Steve Jobs returning to Apple in the late ’90s, the company decided to discontinue the Newton, marking the end of a fascinating yet brief chapter in Apple’s history. Though the Newton was discontinued, its legacy lives on in modern Apple devices. The vision of a fully integrated, user-centric device, easy to use and capable of performing a variety of tasks, was eventually realized in products like the iPhone and the iPad.

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Remembering that Steve Jobs wrote the first ad for the Apple-1 or looking at how Apple advertises the noise cancellation of the AirPods Pro 2 today, it’s evident that these Newton ads are another piece of the history of advertising and technology. A crucial chapter in the evolution of one of the most influential companies in the world which, with the Newton, the first “iPhone,” foresaw the future like no other.

David Bernal Raspall

David Bernal Raspall

Architect | Founder of hoyenapple.com | Apple Technologies Trainer | Writer at Softonic and iDoo_tech, formerly at Applesfera

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