Former Apple CEO discusses the genesis of ARM mobile processors that now power the world’s mobile devices [Video]

Former Apple CEO John Sculley recently attended a South Florida Technology Alliance event to discuss Apple and the genesis of tablet computing, specifically: the Newton MessagePad and ARM Processor.

The MessagePad is the first series of ARM 610 RISC processor-based mobile devices developed by Apple for the Newton OS platform in 1993. Since then, it has become the dominant platform for mobile computing.

“Handwriting was never intended to be a very important aspect of it. [...] It was really much more about the fact that you could hold this thing in your hand and it would do a lot of the graphics that you would see on the Macintosh,” explained Sculley at SFTA.

The tablet-like digital assistant spurred a flurry of models with various ARM processor. The series is generally remembered as a market flop now, of course, but Apple’s ARM initiative essentially paved the way for greatness. As The Next Web first noted, the iPhone today uses a by-product of the Newton MessagePad’s specifically designed ARM core.

“No microprocessor existed that would allow you to do mobile graphics-based software,” Sculley revealed, while discussing the birth of ARM.

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Sculley: If anyone is going to change television, it’s going to be Apple (Murdoch agrees, too)


Photo courtesy of BBC

John Sculley, former vice-president and president of PepsiCo and CEO of Apple between 1983 and 1993, is adamant that Apple —not incumbents such as Samsung— is poised to change the first principles of the television experience. Sculley also confessed in an interview with BBC that has not read Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography of Apple’s late cofounder and CEO. Nevertheless, the executive turned investor underscored Apple’s history of past industry disruptions while opining that the television industry is about to experience Apple’s magic touch:

I think that Apple has revolutionized every other consumer industry, why not television? I think that televisions are unnecessarily complex. The irony is that as the pictures get better and the choice of content gets broader, that the complexity of the experience of using the television gets more and more complicated. So it seems exactly the sort of problem that if anyone is going to change the experience of what the first principles are, it is going to be Apple.

Sculely, 72, is a Silicon Valley investor nowadays, and dispelled some “myths” about his tense relationship with Apple’s cofounder. He said he did not fire Jobs, insisting they had “a terrific relationship when things were going well.” Heck, even Rupert Murdoch is commenting about Apple television, writing on Twitter this morning: “All talk is about coming Apple TV. Plenty of apprehension, no firm facts but eyes on their enormous cash pile”.

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