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  • The First All-Touch Phone Was Created By IBM, Not Apple


    1992 was an eventful year. Gas was a paltry $1.05 a gallon. John Gotti got life in Prison. Bill Clinton became president. The Rodney King Riots overtook L.A.

    Oh, and IBM invented the first all-touch phone: The Simon.

    Simon was a gigantic device complete with a touch-based interface via a monochrome screen of touchy goodness. The screen even adapted to a given application albeit in a limited fashion. What else did a person need to do other than make phone calls, check a calendar or receive a fax in the early 90s?

    It sported a matte black finish, something modern-day designers could take a cue from. Glossy doesn’t equal expensive anymore, it only equals scratches, and uncontrollable amount of scratches.

    Watching the video makes me wonder how people got anything done during my youth. Life must have been a horrible mishmash of face-to-face communication and phone calls interrupted by a screeching fax machine.

    Source: Gizmodo
    This article was originally published in forum thread: The First All-Touch Phone Was Created By IBM, Not Apple started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 25 Comments
    1. *T*'s Avatar
      *T* -
      Talk about old news, huh
    1. iPod's Avatar
      iPod -
      Let the apple haters roll in...
    1. Agent929's Avatar
      Agent929 -
      I remember that!
    1. ALAN523's Avatar
      ALAN523 -
      wheres the multitouch?
    1. treble26's Avatar
      treble26 -
      I could swear I just saw someone dialing on a black brick.
    1. z6joker9's Avatar
      z6joker9 -
      Wow, I remember this phone. It was high tech and outrageously expensive for the time. We had one for sale at my parents store but it never sold. We probably still have it somewhere...
    1. iLoveWindows&iPhone's Avatar
      iLoveWindows&iPhone -
      So which was first....the "Simon"...or that Apple touch phone prototype thingy that there was just an article on?
    1. metaserph's Avatar
      metaserph -
      When are they going to release the jailbreak for the Simon? 0_o

      And although technically the Simon was the first touch phone, the entire concept of what has become the iPhone, iOS and what we have today came from Apple's early work on the Newton. I had 2, they were pretty amazing devices of their time, sadly mishandled for years. Until the iPhone. Just for the record.

      The Newton platform was an early personal digital assistant and the first tablet platform developed by Apple, the second platform being iOS, used in the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Development[clarification needed] of the Newton platform started in 1987 and officially ended on February 27, 1998.

      http://gizmodo.com/5452193/the-story...-apples-newton
    1. luvmytj's Avatar
      luvmytj -
      Ahhh, the early 1990's... I remember them fondly. At that time who would of guessed the traditional wired home phone would go the way of the dinosaurs. While not Apple related, this article is true but we can say that Apple did in fact make the first portable touch phone.
    1. Adbs98's Avatar
      Adbs98 -
      Its funny that this article came up. My uncle was actually one of the lead design engineers on this. He actually is on the patent. He still works for IBM and several months ago, going on a hiking trip to Utah we had a good discussion on this. He actually remembers going to a trade show to show it off and they left it out in the car and it was cold and the screen would not come up and they were scrambling to warm it up.

      IBM has a very very strong case on patient infringement but for reasons we may never know they never persued it. To add to this my Uncle was actually supenad on several occasions regarding who had the patent rights.

      People may laugh but we had to start somewhere. Without this who is to say the iphone we have all come to love would be what it is today.

      Thanks Uncle Dave
    1. DnBKiD521's Avatar
      DnBKiD521 -
      Quote Originally Posted by metaserph View Post
      When are they going to release the jailbreak for the Simon? 0_o
      I fell out my chair when I read that !!

      +1
    1. Mrteacup's Avatar
      Mrteacup -
      did apple claim it was the first touch phone. i don't get the title though "first all touch" all touch? apple hasn't got that yet haha
    1. NetMage's Avatar
      NetMage -
      I actually have one I bought used around the time I got my first Newton (still the best PDA ever). I never used it for anything, but it was neat at the time.
    1. domenicp's Avatar
      domenicp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mrteacup View Post
      did apple claim it was the first touch phone. i don't get the title though "first all touch" all touch? apple hasn't got that yet haha
      very true
    1. metaserph's Avatar
      metaserph -
      Yeah the Newton was bad**s. I was part of a club for about 6 years.
    1. JPili's Avatar
      JPili -
      In my opinion, I like glossy better than matte. I don't really care about getting scratches (I hardly get any). I only care about my iPhone looking sexy. Besides, I heard that they're coming out with scratch proof glass in a few years! At least, that's what I heard...
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      The scratches on iPods are ridiculous. I still don't know where they find metal that scratches so much.
    1. *T*'s Avatar
      *T* -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zokunei View Post
      The scratches on iPods are ridiculous. I still don't know where they find metal that scratches so much.
      Amen. My old iPod got scratched as much as anyone else's, even though I have a case on it 24-7. I think the dust inside the case scratched it lol
    1. dennder's Avatar
      dennder -
      This video only demonstrates that any major company could have built such device, and many actually did. Apple just did it at the right time, with the proper ease of use.
      What's the problem then? Jealousy, that at the launch of iPhone 2G everyone was like "fu apple bs" and in several years everyone is doing the same?

      P.S. Thx for sharing, i actually though windows mobile was the first "usable" device.
    1. jrrtps's Avatar
      jrrtps -
      Quote Originally Posted by ALAN523 View Post
      wheres the multitouch?
      you must be kidding??