The Apple Newton
It’s hard now to imagine the days before smartphones and tablets. But before they existed, personal digital assistants (more commonly known as PDAs) were the cool new way to keep track of everything from contacts to notes and calendar events.
Apple entered into the PDA market when it debuted the Apple Newton MessagePad in 1992, a time when handheld computers were more of an idea than an actual product. It included a stylus, unique software, and even a first attempt at handwriting recognition technology. But most importantly, the device could fit in a user’s pocket.
The device didn’t take off as Apple hoped, and they ended up canceling the project in 1998. But the idea of taking a computer on-the-go lasted — today they’re our smartphones.