This is the first thing Jony Ive ever designed for Apple.
It’s the follow up to the Newton, code named within in the company, the Lindy MessagePad. It’s not nearly as famous as his later work like the colourful iMac, or the iPhone, or iPad.
But Ive put just as much care into the Lindy as he did those other products, says Leander Kahney in his new biography of Ive, JONY IVE: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products.
Ive added a spring loaded cover for the Lindy that popped open after you pressed it. He also integrated the pen at the top of the device. The pen telescoped out to fit in the device.
“I insisted the lid fold up and over the top, like a stenographer’s notepad, which everyone understands … The stored pen at the top where a stenographer’s notepad’s spiral binding would be, made the right connection,” said Ive. He thought the original Newton was too foreign, so he tried to make the Lindy more relatable.
Ive went from his initial design concept to a foam model in two weeks, the fastest anyone at Apple had ever seen, says Kahney. When it was being made, Ive stayed at hotel in Taiwan near Apple’s manufacturer to help get the product right.
“He basically broke his back spent an enormous amount of time in Taiwan getting that thing just right. It was beautiful. Well executed. It worked really well. It was an amazing product,” said Robert Brunner, who led Apple’s Industrial Design group at the time.
The MessagePad won a bunch of awards, and is featured as part of the permanent collection at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art, but it was a commercial flop.
When Steve Jobs returned to Apple one his first moves was killing the Newton.
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