Bring Back the Apple Newton!

"iPhone" is a lousy name for Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) signature product. It's time to bring back the Apple Newton, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

Why? Nokia recently commissioned a study that found smartphone owners tend to check their devices 150 times per day. On average, we also make, receive, or avoid 22 calls and send or receive 22 text messages. The implication? Two-thirds of the time, we're using the device for some form of computing.

Thus, Tim says, the iPhone isn't so much a phone as it is a personal digital assistant -- an advanced form of Palm's Pilot or the original Apple Newton. Bringing back the Newton brand name might inspire longtime Apple fans who loved the device while keeping with CEO Tim Cook's penchant for ditching dated monikers. (After a decade of Big Cats, the next Mac OS is to be dubbed "Mavericks.")

Would you rather own an iPhone or an Apple Newton? Do you care? Leave a comment to let us know how you use your smartphone and whether you'd buy, sell, or short Apple stock at current prices.

Apple has a history of cranking out revolutionary products like the Newton, and then creatively destroying them with something better. Read about the future of Apple in the free report, "Apple Will Destroy Its Greatest Product." Can Apple really disrupt its own iPhones and iPads? Find out by clicking here.


Read/Post Comments (8) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2013, at 4:46 PM, razzamatazzer wrote:

    who really cares? what does it matter in the scheme of things?

  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2013, at 5:29 PM, twolf2919 wrote:

    Tim Cook changed the naming scheme of a single product - and that makes him have a "penchant"? You need some serious help with English.

  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2013, at 5:45 PM, tedwards456 wrote:

    Wow, what a silly article. Do you know the Apple line? You're asking them to invent the iPod touch which already exists.

  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2013, at 5:52 PM, tedwards456 wrote:

    Just watched the video. I understand your point better now. You think the name gives more attention to it's common use and sells it better, yeah? I see your point actually. But I'm not sure that Newton would sell better than iPhone which I would argue people DO think of as a handier device than just a phone. Also most of us have absolutely no association good or bad to the Newton, and we do to the iPhone. I do wish Apple would get into a larger tablet style phone though. Somewhere between the current size and the iPad mini. The smaller is better idea doesn't hold with high tech touch screens in my opinion.

  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2013, at 6:54 PM, paul2162 wrote:

    This guy really does not know what he is talking about. The PDA movement died because you could now get all of those features in your phone. It is another device you would need to carry around. And besides tablets are now filling that void. As an IT guy the last thing I want to do is carry around 2 or 3 devices. I guess on Apple fans think of these things,.

  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2013, at 8:22 PM, demodave wrote:

    I thought the video was kinda so-so, but it did fairly remind us of the technological road map that *got* us here. I had a few Palm devices along the way. I'm glad I don't anymore, because they just did not match the iPhone experience and they were even frustrating to me at the time (though I do somewhat miss the "handwriting" recognition - even though it required that I relearn to write in a way that the Palm would understand). When it comes to nomenclature, though, I just don't think there is all that much in it. Realistically, some people use a mobile phone more than others. Some people use a PDA more than others. That's what it comes down to. The iPhone encompasses all of those things. Who cares is you call is a pad or a PDA - or even a phone. It's a wirelessly connected device.

    I've occasionally been intrigued by the idea of an iPhob - a hub that connects to the cloud to empower linked devices (a pad or a headset or whatever). It really doesn't matter, as long as one of the parts connects to a wireless, long-range network. Eventually, all telephony will be VOIP, so a phone is a pod is a tablet is a.....

    I do agree with tedwardsabout a more phablet-sized device, though, because I'd like more screen real estate on a pocket iOS to play with. Even if only to make Safari more effective. And maybe fatter "keypads" for my poor thumb-typing skills.

  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2013, at 8:53 PM, BTRDAYZ wrote:

    When would it ever be sensible to swap a successful product name for a name not known to the youngest generation of tech buyers, and also known to an older generation as a product that failed in the marketplace?

    What would be be useful is if Apple would show how pioneering concepts in the Newton have directly inspired every PDA and smartphone that followed. Apple should show its history of developing purpose built lightweight OSes for devices like the Newton and iPod, and how that distinguishes from approaches such as Windows 8/RT. They should demonstrate how this legacy of innovation thrives deep within Apple, even during the Newton period when Steve Jobs was not present at Apple. Watch videos of Apple's Intelligent Assistant in the Newton, and see how it influences smartphone operation to this day.

  • Report this Comment On August 18, 2013, at 2:05 AM, momus2 wrote:

    Name change gimmick?

    This article is too silly to comment about...

    1/2 :-)

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