Friday, December 1, 2017 [Tweets] [Favorites]

“Mother of All Markets” or a “Pipe Dream Driven by Greed”?

Peter H. Lewis, in 1992 (via Anil Dash):

Sometime around the middle of this decade no one is sure exactly when -- executives on the go will begin carrying pocket-sized digital communicating devices. And although nobody is exactly sure what features these personal information gizmos will have, what they will cost, what they will look like or what they will be called, hundreds of computer industry officials and investors at the Mobile ’92 conference here last week agreed that the devices could become the foundation of the next great fortunes to be made in the personal computer business.

“We are writing Chapter 2 of the history of personal computers,” said Nobuo Mii, vice president and general manager of the International Business Machines Corporation’s entry systems division.

[…]

These devices are expected to combine the best features of personal computers, facsimile machines, computer networks, pagers, personal secretaries, appointment books, address books and even paperback books and pocket CD players -- all in a hand-held box operated by pen, or even voice commands.

[…]

“The problem with all this is that they all have to be put together,” [Andrew Seybold] said, “and as I look around here, there are some guys working on one part, and a few companies working on another part, and they all have to work together.”

Chris Espinosa:

For everybody who ever said that Sculley was out of touch, read this. He was right about it being the mother of all markets.

3 Comments

Gruber a few weeks ago:

Remarkably prescient list of features. The big mistake is listing “networks” as one feature among many. In 1992 it wasn’t clear yet that the internet would become the one true network, connecting anyone and everyone. The single biggest problem with the Newton is that it launched before the advent of Wi-Fi or cellular data networking.

Or perhaps the bigger mistake is assuming these would be devices for elite “executives”, rather than being accessible, affordable, democratizing devices for everyone.

@David Thanks—not sure how I missed his post.

Gruber

Or perhaps the bigger mistake is assuming these would be devices for elite “executives”, rather than being accessible, affordable, democratizing devices for everyone.

This is an interesting observation, but coming from an Apple pundit, an odd contrast as Apple has never made these devices affordable or done much to democratize the computing landscape. Accessible I suppose, as Apple has iPhones in many markets.

Sculley had it right and Apple should have been the leader here....when the iPod was released, Samsung of all people were selling MP3 cell phones and Palm powered smart phones....all the while Apple was charging $500 for a music player. Steve Jobs completely missed mobile in my opinion. Apple without Steve introduced both the PowerBook and the Newton. Jobs killed the latter with no replacement in place for about a decade. My goodness that's strange from a company which claims to be skating to where the puck is going to be....

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=I+skate+to+where+the+puck+is+going+to+be+Steve+Jobs

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