Cookies and Capacitors

Pure chance is astonishing

Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 2:30AM

John Gruber writes after the iPad was unveiled:

The original Palm Pilot didn’t ship until 1996, three years after the original Newton. So it’s not like side-by-side competition with the Palm Pilot led to the Newton’s demise from the get-go. But the Palm Pilot’s success shows the direction Apple should have moved after the Newton’s 1993 debut: smaller and cheaper. Instead, they kept the size and price the same, and expanded its features and performance. If Apple had shipped a Newton OS device the size of a Palm Pilot for $400 by 1995, the world might be a very different place today. (If the Newton had been a hit, Apple wouldn’t have been in such trouble in 1996, and might not have bought NeXT, in which case Jobs never would have returned to the company.)

I probably wouldn’t have my iPhone if the Newton didn’t die when it did. It really trips my mind when chance can bend reality so effortlessly.