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Handhelds Media (Apple) Apple

Apple Newton vs. Apple iPhone 203

Posted by timothy
from the you-have-been-on-my-lawn-for-10-years dept.
An anonymous reader writes "CNET UK has written a head-to-head piece entitled Apple Newton vs Apple iPhone. Despite the Newton being released some 10 years ago, and despite the iPhone being a phone, not a tablet, the site's editors believe the Newton is the more innovative of the two Apple products. The two devices were tied over four rounds, but in the 'Special Powers' element, where the iPhone was praised for its iPod capability, the Newton countered with its ability to play MP3s, connect to iTunes and 'its ability to work as a phone' because 'Blam! Not even the iPhone can do that.'"
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Apple Newton vs. Apple iPhone

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  • ok (Score:1, Interesting)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworldNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday November 26, 2009 @04:33PM (#30239440) Homepage
    I have an iphone and love it. Amazing phone. But like just about everything else Apple has done, it's not really "innovative." They package well, but they never really come out with anything new. The closest thing they probably came to innovating on WAS the Newton.
  • Innovative? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @04:38PM (#30239468)

    I'd have to say that neither is truly "innovative" because that would imply something new was present in either of them, rather than a remix of existing technologies and/or incremental improvements on them (such as minaturization). The only really innovative thing I've seen out of Apple in awhile has been the touch wheel on the iPods; Which was quite a departure from existing human interface designs at the time. The word "innovative" has been quite overused in this field.

  • by phase_9 (909592) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @04:42PM (#30239504) Homepage
    You can rock some serious MP3 Action in all it's 128kbps 22Khz Mono glory! - http://40hz.org/Pages/MADNewton [40hz.org]
  • by andhar (194607) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @04:52PM (#30239556)

    I had a Newton Message Pad 100 (the very first model) which I bought cheap in '94 on a whim. It was already totally outdated when I bought it. Still, in its lifetime, I printed from it, sent and received faxes from it, all kinds of stuff you'd normally need a computer for. Totally handy.

    Come '96 and I'm in grad school and I take every note for the whole two years on that thing and it was GREAT. I mean really, had it been a pain would I have kept on the entire time? Having a pretty big screen meant you had plenty of room to scrawl out those notes on the screen, and as I had maybe not 'neat' handwriting, but at least consistent handwriting it worked great.

    In 1996, being able to search your notes on the computer saved me so much time that I could have a band. So maybe having a Newton didn't get me chicks, but at least the band did!

    Then, in 2000, I was still using it. But I accidentally left it on a conference room table after a meeting and it disappeared. It actually got STOLEN. In the 21st century.

  • Re:ok (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworldNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday November 26, 2009 @05:13PM (#30239700) Homepage
    Microsoft has been doing the same for years now. Anyone that believes corporate propaganda should go out and get some fresh air.

    And they are routinely derided for it. Like when they suddenly claimed that they invented symbolic links. Apple is not. It's not really the propaganda isn't what annoys me, it's the mindless worship from their fans that gets to me. And I LIKE Apple products. I think that right now they make the best computers out there. But I'm not going to switch that like to the company. A company is a piece of paper filed with the state.
  • Re:ok (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @06:11PM (#30240074) Journal
    The iPhone was not very innovative from a technological point of view, but what it did to the market is nothing short of amazing. For a phone that sucked so badly in some functions, even really basic ones, it managed to create a buzz and won over many people (like myself) who had previously not used Apple products and were always a little ware of the fanboys. The iPhone's UI is a strong selling point, but I'd say the attractive package was a factor as well. The real kicker tough is the touch screen, without which that wonderful UI would not have been so great. I'm not thinking about pinch-zooming here, but about the ability to whip out the phone and use it without a stylus, even being able to quickly punch out an SMS using nothing but my chubby fingers.

    All those things came together nicely for the first time in the iPhone; it's the first phone I've come across that really invites people to use it, especially when it comes to apps and the internet. Mobile data usage has jumped since the iPhone's introduction, and it has taken an astounding share of that usage compared to it's market share, even though many phones with similar capabilities already existed. Without being very innovative itself, it has proven to be a gamechanger in the market.
  • Re:ok (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mdwh2 (535323) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @07:06PM (#30240460) Journal

    But by this logic, almost every phone on the market multitasks - e.g., my phone's built in mp3 player can run at the same time as the built in email client.

    The point is that it doesn't run more than one third party application at once (which really means it's a feature phone, not a smartphone - unless you use the broader definition of smartphone that would also include all feature phones). For years, when people talked about multitasking on phones, this is what they meant - it's only with the Iphone that suddenly the terms have to be used differently, to hide the things it doesn't do, and pretend it's a "smartphone"...

  • Re:ok (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RivieraKid (994682) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @07:27PM (#30240640)

    Not true. Every modern multitasking operating system will, in a low-memory situation, terminate background processes in favour of foreground processes. Other multitasking operating systems will be reduced to the performance of a snail racing through molasses in an attempt to keep everything running.

    Neither approach is great from an end-user perspective, but at least when you run out of memory and the kernel kills processes to free up resources, the entire system is usable. The alternative is to lose everything because the system is so unresponsive you are forced to reboot to regain control.

    When you're talking about a device with extremely limited resources, with no chance of increasing those resources, somethings gonna give, and in this case, it means that in order for the phone to remain operational the kernel will kill background tasks. It's not a limitation or fault, its a design trade-off based on the limited resources available. In my opinion its the right choice.

    If your point is that the iPhone has inadequate resources to be used as a handheld computer, well then, I'd agree but that's another trade-off that Apple made in order to create the device they wanted, and its nothing to do with the iPhone's ability to multitask.

    I'd be willing to bet that your Hero has greater storage resources available, either as RAM or FLASH and is therefore using some of that as a page file/device.

    Yes, I have an iPhone, and yes, I'm just waiting two months for the contract to expire and I'll be replacing it with a Nokia N900.

  • Re:ok (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 26, 2009 @07:37PM (#30240712)

    The N900 looks amazing. I have a N95, and I'm quite pleased with it, but it's nearly 3 years behind now. I'll definitely be picking up a N900 as well once my contract is out. Full Linux, and Nokia even encourages you to get down into the system and do your own thing. I'm sure it won't catch on like the iPhone with all its trendiness, but the N900 really seems like a kickass piece of hardware and software to me.

  • Re:ok (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jesus_666 (702802) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @09:21PM (#30241488)
    And SCSI. And FireWire.
  • Re:ok (Score:4, Interesting)

    by drerwk (695572) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @10:10PM (#30241798) Homepage
    Apple II ?
    Hypercard ?
    Quicktime ?
    Finalcut ?
    Desktop publishing ?
    All seem pretty innovative to me.
  • Re:quality journos? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday November 27, 2009 @05:13AM (#30243810) Homepage Journal

    I am still a big fan of the Newton and I wish Apple would come out with a modern version of the emate 300.

    Yes, so does everyone else, since it would be called a "netbook" and run OSX. You CAN get such a thing, but you have to buy the hardware from someone other than Apple and tweak the OS to make it fit since Apple sees themselves as more fit to tell you what you want than you are, and doesn't actually offer any product in that market... probably because they couldn't slap enough markup on it along with the Apple logo to justify its production.

    The device you want is already here, depending on the form factor it's a netbook with a touch screen, or a large handheld like the Nokia N800. Or with a phone built in, the N900. Apple, of course, will not bring you such a device. It has too many buttons, and last time they brought you a small device with a lot of buttons it failed. They won't try again any time soon.

"Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich." -- "Ali Baba Bunny" [1957, Chuck Jones]

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