Long before the iPhone, Apple created a personal digital assistant named Newton. These days, when we hear the notion of a digital assistant, we think of Siri, but this device was more like a smartphone, but without the phone. Newton was advanced for its time (introduced in 1993), but its high price prevented mass adoption. Its features could not be adopted by anyone, as they are today.
Larry Tesler, a former member of Lisa team, was supposed to find a fast-running, low power processor for Apple's Newton, but there were no appropriate options. Finally, he turned to Acorn RISC Machine and their partner VLSI. If you have not heard about Acorn, it's enough to say that it's today's ARM, the company that made the foundation for all modern mobile processors.
Apple, Acorn, and VLSI have designed a new ARMv6 power supply core for Newton. Various versions of ARMv6 will later come on the first smartphones, including several Androids and the Palm Pixi. Things were later moved on ARMv7, and now on ARMv8 (64-bit chips), but back then, there was almost no competition (today there are Qualcomm and MediaTek).
Modern ARM cores are not the only legacy of Apple Newton. Two developers working on it later founded Pixo, a company behind the operating system for the first iPods (all non-iOS devices were powered by Pixo OS).
In the mid-90s, Apple started licensing its brand to other manufacturers who made digital cameras, CD players, and even gaming consoles. These consoles were called Apple Pippin and they were produced by Bandai (known for their Power Ranger toys).
Actually, Pippin was more than a console. It was based on a Macintosh platform and ran on a modified Mac OS. But Apple has forbidded Bandai to call it a computer to prevent customer confusion. In addition, the company did absolutely nothing for product placement and that's a partial reason of its failure. Pippin was a multimedia center, something like modern consoles, as apart from the games, it could play music and video, and even browse the web. However, with a price tag of $600 it was too expensive.
However, you can see the similarities with Microsoft's Xbox. It was supposed to be the brain of the home entertainment system, and was driven by a version of the company's OS. However, by all accounts, Pippin was not a very impressive console. The only game that was famous is the first person SF shooter named Super Marathon. It has been developed by Bungie, which will create one of the most famous shooters - Halo, just three years later.
In 1988, Apple and Quantum Computer Services launched AppleLink Personal Edition for Apple II and Macintosh. Later (1994), two business partners will create eWorld. Presented as a city with various buildings, eWorld has offered e-mail (in the mail, of course), a phone (in the local community) and more on a simple floppy disc.
Quantum co-founder and CEO of Steve Case, was three months in California trying to persuade Apple to allow his company to launch a new service. Apple would get 10 percent of the $8.95 monthly subscription and $7.95 charge per hour.
That Quantum, who agreed with Apple on the distribution of profits, became AOL in 1991. At the peak of dominance, the company was the most dominant Internet service provider in the United States, and as many as 50 percent of all produced CDs in the world came from that company. Today, AOL struggles after a breakdown several years ago. Apple didn't recognize that opportunity, because later efforts to build a network community were no more successful than eWorld.
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