Trivia Tuesday: Apple invention misconceptions

I thought I would start up a little section here on Neowin, where every Tuesday I will post some sort of (hopefully) interesting piece of tech trivia or fact. Check back here every week and hopefully you will learn something new about the technology world

For the fourth Trivia Tuesday here on Neowin I thought I would explore some of the things you might think Apple have invented, but actually haven’t at all. These invention misconceptions are just a collection of what some people think Apple have invented, so I’m sure there are many more that I haven’t covered here.

The capacitive touchscreen: this was a highlight of the original Apple iPhone, which touted its smartphone capabilities by saying you can actually use it with a finger rather than stylus as the norm was at the time. Rather than using two thin films between the user and display to sense a stylus, capacitive touchscreens measure the distortion in the screen’s electrostatic field created when your conductive fingers touch the screen’s special coating.

The original type of touchscreen was, interestingly, a capacitive type invented way back in 1965 by E.A. Johnson at the Royal Radar Establishment in the UK; unfortunately they were quite expensive to produce and so the resistive-type touchscreen was the cheaper and more common occurrence pretty much up until the iPhone. However, the invention of the capacitive touchscreen predates the existence of Apple, so they can’t have possibly invented it.

This is the Psion MC 400 with an early touchpad. Note that it's above the keyboard unlike modern touchpads

While we’re on touch technology, Apple also didn’t invent the touchpad. Used as the primary form of mouse-like movement on modern notebook computers, the touchpad was actually invented by Psion for their MC series notebooks in 1989; however the touchpads used in the early Apple PowerBooks were based on early developments in the field.

The graphical user interface (GUI): Apple was very early to the GUI game with the Apple Lisa in 1983, but it was actually beaten a whole ten years earlier by Xerox PARC in 1973 with the Xerox Alto. Xerox PARC (now known simply as “PARC”) was Xerox’s R&D centre and helped to develop heaps of other stuff we now take for granted such as Ethernet and laser printers. Regardless, Xerox beat Apple to develop a GUI.

Of course, there is a whole debate as to whether Steve Jobs and Apple (along with Microsoft Windows) plagiarized the GUI from what was seen on the Xerox machines, but that’s another story.

Also, if you have the time, the recent TechSpot article covering some of Xerox PARC’s developments is a good read.

The portable digital audio player: nope, the iPod was not the first device to be portable and have the capability to store and play MP3 files. In 1997, four years before the first iPod, Audio Highway released their “Listen Up”, however only 25 or so were made. Another MP3 player released before the iPod was the HanGo Personal Dukebox, the first player to use a 2.5” hard drive internally that could store up to 1,200 songs for playback.

None of these devices were particularly successful until the iPod, which in typical Apple fashion revolutionized the portable digital music player market.

The “smartphone”: while this may seem obvious to tech enthusiasts like myself, there are many less tech-headed people who think incorrectly that the iPhone was the first smartphone. In fact, and this actually surprised me, the first smartphone was the IBM Simon. It was a cellular phone that went on-sale in 1994 that included not only portable phone functionality, but a (resistive) touchscreen, calendar, calculator, email functionality, games and an on-screen QWERTY keyboard.

This is the IBM Simon on a dock.

The Simon came out 13 years before the iPhone, and if you want to sound cool (wait… maybe not) you can tell your mates that it was the first true smartphone. It also looks like a brick by today’s standards.

Again, this is not a finite list of all the things that Apple hasn't actually invented, but if you have any other notable additions please let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Wikipedia and GuideBookGallery

Previous Trivia Tuesday articles and you can follow our tech news @NeowinFeed here.

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Ok, they didn't invent the underlying technology, but they did integrate it with the rest of the products. They put together the pieces for the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad like no one did before them, and the successful marketing of those products is their merit too.

My point is: Ok, Apple didn't invent it, BUT they made it useful and pleasant for a lot of people out there. Or did those big touchscreen smartphones become popular because manufacturers had a sudden epiphany?

While I know Apple didn't invent any of this, I did learn a few things like when they were invented, and by who. Thanks

Can you also mention that the Linus Write-Top was the 1st tablet, at least as far as I know? I met people who seriously never heard of tablets until the iPad, & they go to my school - the same place I 1st saw someone holding 1 years b4 the iPad!

MASTER260 said,
Can you also mention that the Linus Write-Top was the 1st tablet, at least as far as I know? I met people who seriously never heard of tablets until the iPad, & they go to my school - the same place I 1st saw someone holding 1 years b4 the iPad!

Actually the Linus-Write-Top was not really that portable , so hence it usually does not get the name Tablet because it could not do other tasks than note taking. My father had one and it took a bit to set it up.. Usually the Grid Pad is normally called the first tablet because it was portable and had other tasks on it. Calendar, calculator, address book, and the ability to install dos programs. As well as a word processing program or Excel .
Not to mention it could be used with or without the stylus. Yes people say Apple had one in 1979 but it like others before had to be hooked to a computer.

But the Linus Write-Top did have basic handwriting recognition though it could not do much more than a WYSWYG insertion of text but was not portable.

redvamp128 said,

Actually the Linus-Write-Top was not really that portable , so hence it usually does not get the name Tablet because it could not do other tasks than note taking. My father had one and it took a bit to set it up.. Usually the Grid Pad is normally called the first tablet because it was portable and had other tasks on it. Calendar, calculator, address book, and the ability to install dos programs. As well as a word processing program or Excel .
Not to mention it could be used with or without the stylus. Yes people say Apple had one in 1979 but it like others before had to be hooked to a computer.

But the Linus Write-Top did have basic handwriting recognition though it could not do much more than a WYSWYG insertion of text but was not portable.


In regards to the Apple product you mentioned, I wouldn't really consider graphics tablets tablet pcs. They were like the uDraw, not, say, the iPad.

MASTER260 said,

In regards to the Apple product you mentioned, I wouldn't really consider graphics tablets tablet pcs. They were like the uDraw, not, say, the iPad.

Also, in regards to the Write-top, I don't know much about it, but to me it looks like a computer connected to a slate-style, touchscreen display. I guess it's debatable whether or not you consider that a tablet. It's not a standalone touchscreen monitor, since the computer is, "part," of the system, or a touchscreen desktop, since the monitor is in a tablet-style form factor, so I dunno.

EDIT: BTW, for portability, there's always that carrying case thing! xD

MASTER260 said,

Also, in regards to the Write-top, I don't know much about it, but to me it looks like a computer connected to a slate-style, touchscreen display. I guess it's debatable whether or not you consider that a tablet. It's not a standalone touchscreen monitor, since the computer is, "part," of the system, or a touchscreen desktop, since the monitor is in a tablet-style form factor, so I dunno.

EDIT: BTW, for portability, there's always that carrying case thing! xD


Actually, at a closer look, that carrying case thing was the computer itself. Looks like you could attach & detach it from the monitor's base. Correct me if I'm wrong though, I don't know much about these very early tablets. Also, sry bout triple post, hate that you can't always edit here...

MASTER260 said,

Actually, at a closer look, that carrying case thing was the computer itself. Looks like you could attach & detach it from the monitor's base. Correct me if I'm wrong though, I don't know much about these very early tablets. Also, sry bout triple post, hate that you can't always edit here...

LOL, wait, it was just a dock. So it really is a tablet! (Not to be rude.)

MASTER260 said,

LOL, wait, it was just a dock. So it really is a tablet! (Not to be rude.)

NOTE IT WON"T WORK WITHOUT IT mainly because that is where the 1-2 hour battery was housed. (even though they claimed it lasted for 5 hours it really only lasted for 2 hours of continuous use)
I have used one-- It won't work with-out the "DOCK" that was where the CPU and hard drive was. The reason it could unmount was to allow it to be lower when placed on a table... if it stayed on the Base it would be almost 7 inches higher than the desktop. The reason some people kept it on the "dock" is for example when it was used on a lap. Don't always judge things by pictures... I have actually used the one my Father had that he got from work.

To mention it took a bit to set it up-- I mean the learn phase of handwriting took 3 hours for it to learn your A,B,C. and 1 hour to learn your print.

It also had some weight to it so it really was not on the go portable like that of a case computer (portable PC) was in the day. not to mention it also was a bit heavy. At 9lbs. (so really a 10lb tablet >???) and the base only took up 4 lbs) where the Gridpad who bought them BTW. Weighted a total of 3 1/2 lbs. complete and didn't need to be hooked up to a base.

Edited by redvamp128, Dec 21 2011, 4:18am :

People who believed Apple invented any of these are seriously misinformed.

People who believe Apple simply take existing inventions and market them excellent are equally as deluded.

Yes, Apple are extremely good at marketing. Apple are also extremely good at taking existing inventions and ideas and implementing them in such a way as to make them much more useable, intuitive and accessible.

Apple have had their failures through the years but they are more than just a marketing machine. Surely everybody knows the iPod wasn't the first mp3 player. Nor was it the first mp3 player to use a hard drive. I would, however, argue that it was the first to combine portability, capacity, build quality, a full menu system, easy syncing, a fast firewire interface (when others were still using USB 1.1), ID3 tagging and simple, intuitive controls. It was one of the best, if not the best, mp3 player on the market. THEN add Apple's excellent marketing, the simple integration with the iTunes music store (18 months later) and you begin to understand it's popularity. This model can be extended to most of the inventions in the article.

Exactly. No duh, Apple didn't invent the MP3 player. Lol, at people who think that they did and even bigger LOL at people who think that all Apple fans think this way.

Apple just made everyone WANT an MP3 player because when they did it, they did it right.

The "smartphone" is too board of a term to say that Apple or anyone else invented it.

There should be some "smartphone standards" though

Whaaaaa? Apple didn't invent those stuff? You're kidding me right?

I agree with the sentiment of Neo's post: know your audience. This article makes me wonder if I should be visiting this website because the content seems over simplified.

Not to put down the article content itself. It might make a good Wikipedia page for instance.

I think a major problem with the average consumer having access to all of these advanced tech products is that it makes a lot of people feel like they're entitled to an opinion without really knowing anything. And while non-tech-y people (e.g. those not on this website) that don't use Apple products would probably be inclined to label their Samsung Galaxy X or HTC X "just a phone", Apple users have been told they are using products that are "innovative, magical and revolutionary". This seems to have bestowed an ignorance upon them unparalleled anywhere else in the world. This is the reason I hate Apple and all their proponents. People that don't know much about anything shouldn't talk like they do.

I remember some Apple PR claiming videocalling was kind of an Apple invention (or some "word mixing" that suggested it) during Facetime launch. Epic

Sad thing is kids today were born eirther when or after the IBM simon came out so anything 2005 and earlier is "old" "ancient" or "historic"

Maybe the article should be about why some Apple folks feel the need to be first, and the psychology involved with the marketshare beating on the OS that they took througout years. And why this caused damage to the point where they need to rationalize it by being best and first instead of the marketshare leader.

Apple did revolutionize the touch market and the digital mp3 market. Before that, nobody was interested in having a touch phone or an mp3 player. (By that I mean a very large percent of the consumer market, not your 4-5 geek friends who did have such gadgets during that period)

Navan said,
Apple did revolutionize the touch market and the digital mp3 market. Before that, nobody was interested in having a touch phone or an mp3 player. (By that I mean a very large percent of the consumer market, not your 4-5 geek friends who did have such gadgets during that period)

Honestly, I don't get why everyone thinks everyone bought touch phones after the iPhone. I've only been a geek for a few years, & I sure as hell had a touch screen phone years ago... & as far as I can remember others wanted 1 too...

I had an Audiovox mp3 player back in the late 90s - its capacity was 32MB so i could get about 8 songs on it i used that thing for a long long time before upgrading to a Creative mp3 player w/ 128MB storage haha

I have fond memory of my Diamond RIO MP3 player.... In 1998! The iPod was announced in 2001...

And like someone said here, Apple did not steal the GUI from Xerox, they had a deal with them. Yes it was Xerox who was the first with a GUI, BUT Apple was the first in popularizing the GUI in personal computers (in 1984). Amiga/Atari followed in 1985 with the Amiga 1000/Atari ST. Even the first version of Windows came out in late 1985 and it was far from being useful.

TruckWEB said,
I have fond memory of my Diamond RIO MP3 player.... In 1998! The iPod was announced in 2001...

And like someone said here, Apple did not steal the GUI from Xerox, they had a deal with them. Yes it was Xerox who was the first with a GUI, BUT Apple was the first in popularizing the GUI in personal computers (in 1984). Amiga/Atari followed in 1985 with the Amiga 1000/Atari ST. Even the first version of Windows came out in late 1985 and it was far from being useful.

Many fond memories of Rio. The Rio Karma was great.

I also miss my Empeg in the car.

You forgot about the Creative ZEN MP3 Player, which came out a full year before the iPod. Creative Labs pioneered the MP3 Player and owns the GUI patent, which Apple stole from them. Apple and Creative sued each other and Apple gave a million to Creative Labs. In fact, Apple asked Creative to make an mp3 player for them and they refused. Creative Labs, best known for their SoundBlaster cards in PC had the best sounding mp3 player and their current ZENs are the only players to have X-Fi technology to improve sound. Apple doesn't. It's Apple fault that Creative nearly went out of business. Apple doesn't want to compete fairly, they steal from companies but sue when companies steal from them

Although it's nice to see old products like the simon, which predates modern smart phones this and most user comments fails to honestly reflect on Apple's strengths and creates more ignorance. Before, my comments gets blocked out by most as being Fanboy fare, continue reading. I like all technology and if it weren't for apple I think a lot of tech we enjoy today from all companies would be years away. Unfortunately, I feel Neowin has become the Fox News of tech sites. Apple is as important as Google, Microscoft, and every other tech company contributing products. Competition is great, and forces others to innovate to keep up. We all benefit.

Boojiboy said,
Although it's nice to see old products like the simon, which predates modern smart phones this and most user comments fails to honestly reflect on Apple's strengths and creates more ignorance. Before, my comments gets blocked out by most as being Fanboy fare, continue reading. I like all technology and if it weren't for apple I think a lot of tech we enjoy today from all companies would be years away. Unfortunately, I feel Neowin has become the Fox News of tech sites. Apple is as important as Google, Microscoft, and every other tech company contributing products. Competition is great, and forces others to innovate to keep up. We all benefit.

More like Neowin becoming the MSNBC of tech sites (not Fox News) - Neowin, while it has been known to have articles that should be editorials, doesn't spin in the same direction as Fox News. If any tech site is in danger of becoming the Fox News of tech sites it's (oddly) CNET/ZDNET (which is owned by CBS Corporation).

Of course, there is a whole debate as to whether Steve Jobs and Apple (along with Microsoft Windows) plagiarized the GUI from what was seen on the Xerox machines, but that's another story.

There's no debate - Apple had a deal with Xerox to gain access to the GUI and its technologies at PARC. Microsoft, on the other hand, did not, so there is debate about who they were "inspired by."

thancock said,
The ONLY thing Apple invented was good brainwash marketing and the over-thinking of packaging.

It sounds to me as if you are the one who has been brainwashed. There actually are quite a few things that Apple invented or was first to bring to market. Do a little research before you make more nonsense statements, OK?

roadwarrior said,

It sounds to me as if you are the one who has been brainwashed. There actually are quite a few things that Apple invented or was first to bring to market. Do a little research before you make more nonsense statements, OK?

Well said mate! Doing just as you've been told. I have but one thing left for you: http://bit.ly/vCpBiV

roadwarrior said,
There actually are quite a few things that Apple invented or was first to bring to market.

Interesting. Can you give me ten examples, please?

Who said that apple invented the computer or the mp3 player or the touchscreen or the smartphone?

Inventing something and revolutionizing something are 2 completely different things!

Apple did not invent the mp3 player! However they made a revolution with the iPod and the way they were selling digital music ahead of everyone!. Many did mp3 players before them and many after them! They did things right and become a major player!

Apple did not invent the touch screen or the smartphone! However they made a revolution with the iPhone and if you check how smartphones were before the iPhone and how they were after the iPhone you will easily figure out that they had a huge impact on the industry!

Tablet computers were a Microsoft thing like 5-6 years ago, but they didn't really take any traction in the marketplace until apple unveiled the iPad which many called a large iPod.

Its not a matter of inverting something, it's a matter of using technology to build really really good products!

I could install application on my Windows Mobile touchscreen phone 6-7 years ago but that was not so easy was it? Apple came around and made buying apps over the phone easy, and at affordable prices! they god rid of the stylus and helped me use the phone with my finger instead of the stylus, and they also god rid of the 5-10 buttons devices had and gave be a full front screen on my phone. and the story moves on!

Edited by parisp, Dec 20 2011, 11:51am :

parisp said,
Who said that apple invented the computer or the mp3 player or the touchscreen or the smartphone?

If you go out and ask a random group of people who invented any of those I'm pretty sure a fair number would say Apple.

I do hate this notion that people seem to think Apple are the great inventors, when really they aren't. However, one thing Apple is extremely good at is taking a good idea and pushing it. Like Tablet PCs, they've been around for well over a decade now yet were never really that popular until Apple pushed the iPad.

Kushan said,
I do hate this notion that people seem to think Apple are the great inventors, when really they aren't. However, one thing Apple is extremely good at is taking a good idea and pushing it. Like Tablet PCs, they've been around for well over a decade now yet were never really that popular until Apple pushed the iPad.

While Apple certainly knows how to market things, they also are good at finding ways to make devices that are easy to use and work nicely. Earlier tablet PCs were usually just horrible to use because they followed the desktop OS on a tablet ethos that will probably make Win8 suck as well.

LaXu said,

While Apple certainly knows how to market things, they also are good at finding ways to make devices that are easy to use and work nicely. Earlier tablet PCs were usually just horrible to use because they followed the desktop OS on a tablet ethos that will probably make Win8 suck as well.

Riiiiight, even though its being designed for.....................ahh f**kit, whats the point? haters gonna hate

Kushan said,
I do hate this notion that people seem to think Apple are the great inventors, when really they aren't. However, one thing Apple is extremely good at is taking a good idea and pushing it. Like Tablet PCs, they've been around for well over a decade now yet were never really that popular until Apple pushed the iPad.

They are not great at pushing it, they are great at waiting until the tech is ready rather than being visionary. Remember the umpc? It was a great device, but some of the tech was not there yet. The battery was poor compared to some of the advances we have now. The screen panels were not as advanced as they are now both in resolution and touch capability because they were too expensive at the time. Now it could be said that those device makers could have done more to put better hardware out there, but it would have been criticized for Bing too expensive.

When windows phone was released (before the first ipod) it had windows media player. There was not much memory, and you had to use a big CF card with 32 MB of memory. I was recording Tv shows on my media center and putting it on my portable media center long before the ipod video. It was a good device, but limited HDD and battery held it back, too.

PalletTown said,
This is quickly becoming one of my favourite features of Neowin !

I would never have guessed the first smartphone was almost as old as me

And it also proves just how conservative a LOT of businesses were at the time - surprisingly, AT&T was the exception. Also, notice how little size difference there was between the first smartphone and the first cellular phone overall.

PalletTown said,
This is quickly becoming one of my favourite features of Neowin !

I would never have guessed the first smartphone was almost as old as me

Perhaps the Simon was the first phone that might be classified as a "smartphone", but it is STUNNING that ANYONE would believe that the iPhone was the first smartphone. Hello people, the first iPhone was released in 2007. In 2003 Blackberries were on the market.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that 2003 came well before 2007.

kenboldt said,

Perhaps the Simon was the first phone that might be classified as a "smartphone", but it is STUNNING that ANYONE would believe that the iPhone was the first smartphone. Hello people, the first iPhone was released in 2007. In 2003 Blackberries were on the market.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that 2003 came well before 2007.

Yep, Apple again wasn't the first. But, they are the first of the types of smart phones we see today.

lflashl said,
Thanks for this, looking forward to more of these. Great IDEA!!

Agreed. I like this idea a lot for an article. Finally an Editorial / Op Ed that doesn't become a flame war every week... Yay!

Neobond said,
Well I didn't know about any of these, or the IBM Simon! and I'm almost 40

Did you think Apple invented them though?

Matt Sharpe said,
I'm pretty horrified to think anyone believes Apple invented any of these things.

Well, I am ashamed to admit that up until this article, I was under the impression that Apple invented the GUI (or more specifically, released the first OS with a GUI).

Matt Sharpe said,
I'm pretty horrified to think anyone believes Apple invented any of these things.

You'd be surprised... In one of my master's level courses (in technology), someone pointed out that Apple invented the smartphone and the MP3 player and everyone was agreeing with that person. When I posted out that it wasn't true, everyone was shocked... Apple's marketing people are geniuses.

Fezmid said,

You'd be surprised... In one of my master's level courses (in technology), someone pointed out that Apple invented the smartphone and the MP3 player and everyone was agreeing with that person. When I posted out that it wasn't true, everyone was shocked... Apple's marketing people are geniuses.

They are a very good marketing company. If they ever can't make it in tech, they'd make a tremendous Ad Firm...

Fezmid said,

You'd be surprised... In one of my master's level courses (in technology), someone pointed out that Apple invented the smartphone and the MP3 player and everyone was agreeing with that person. When I posted out that it wasn't true, everyone was shocked... Apple's marketing people are geniuses.

You know, that just made me remember something during my IT course in college. I got told Apple invented the GUI by one of my lecturers while I was writing up part of an assignment on GUIs. Yet one more thing I learn in school/college turns out to be wrong.

MightyJordan said,

You know, that just made me remember something during my IT course in college. I got told Apple invented the GUI by one of my lecturers while I was writing up part of an assignment on GUIs. Yet one more thing I learn in school/college turns out to be wrong.

Apple did have the first commercially successful GUI, but Xerox had the first GUI.

People actually thought Apple invented any of this stuff? I thought it was pretty much well known that Apple is a popularist not really an inventor. They combine other peoples technology to produce products not the other way around.

Vice said,
People actually thought Apple invented any of this stuff? I thought it was pretty much well known that Apple is a popularist not really an inventor. They combine other peoples technology to produce products not the other way around.

Most of my (non-tech) friends think Apple invented the "finger" touchscreen and the smartphone with the iPhone. I also reckon a lot of people think Apple invented the MP3 player.

Of course people like you and me know better

Are those people like 10 or something? We're only up to the 5th iPhone revision, it's not like they've been around 20 years.

Touchpads and capacitive screens I could *kinda* understand, but companies have been using those for decades.

The_Decryptor said,
Are those people like 10 or something? We're only up to the 5th iPhone revision, it's not like they've been around 20 years.

Touchpads and capacitive screens I could *kinda* understand, but companies have been using those for decades.


How many Smartphones and their features did you actually see marketed before the iPhone? The manufacturers didn't really care to sell them to anything but business users, and they already knew of them.

Scorpus said,
Most of my (non-tech) friends think Apple invented the "finger" touchscreen and the smartphone with the iPhone. I also reckon a lot of people think Apple invented the MP3 player.

Here's the thing: You failed at writing this article for the intended target group. Neowin.net isn't a website aimed at non-tech-savvy people. The people visiting this website are more tech-savvy and interested in tech-related stuff than your average gadget user and as such know whole a lot more. Of course there are always exceptions, but in general that's how it is around here. Which, as a result, means this article has a way too simplistic tone to it.

What you should have done is write this article in a totally different fashion: More along the lines of "Did you know that company X was the first to invent Y?", rather than "Apple wasn't the first to invent the smartphone". With the first you're much more likely to generate responses like "Hey, that's pretty neat. Didn't know that!", instead of "Yeah, well, duhhh!"

Always keep the indented target group of the website (or whatever medium) you're writing for in mind. In the case of Neowin that really aren't tech noobs who think the iPod was the first "portable digital audio player" around (MP3 CD players anyone?).

This is meant as constructive criticism.

Edited by .Neo, Dec 20 2011, 12:36pm :

Vice said,
People actually thought Apple invented any of this stuff? I thought it was pretty much well known that Apple is a popularist not really an inventor. They combine other peoples technology to produce products not the other way around.

people think that the universe was invented by apple
and macedonians think that barack obama is macedonian, as well as every other famous person

.Neo said,

Here's the thing: You failed at writing this article for the intended target group. Neowin.net isn't a website aimed at non-tech-savvy people. The people visiting this website are more tech-savvy and interested in tech-related stuff than your average gadget user and as such know whole a lot more. Of course there are always exceptions, but in general that's how it is around here. Which, as a result, means this article has a way too simplistic tone to it.

What you should have done is write this article in a totally different fashion: More along the lines of "Did you know that company X was the first to invent Y?", rather than "Apple wasn't the first to invent the smartphone". With the first you're much more likely to generate responses like "Hey, that's pretty neat. Didn't know that!", instead of "Yeah, well, duhhh!"

Always keep the indented target group of the website (or whatever medium) you're writing for in mind. In the case of Neowin that really aren't tech noobs who think the iPod was the first "portable digital audio player" around (MP3 CD players anyone?).

This is meant as constructive criticism.

Sounds like you have a serious bone to pick with the article *because* it singles out Apple (and claims by Apple fanatics - not claims by Apple).

Note that not one of those supposed *claims* is something that appeared in an Apple ad, or press release, or anything else from Apple. (Apple never claimed to have invented the GUI - it *did* claim - with some merit - to have introduced it to a wider audience. Despite the GUI having been *invented* at PARC, it went exactly nowhere at Xerox - let's face it; at that time, despite PARC, Xerox was as conservative and hidebound as that other large technology company with a large research complex - and I don't mean AT&T.)

PGHammer said,
Sounds like you have a serious bone to pick with the article *because* it singles out Apple (and claims by Apple fanatics - not claims by Apple).

If you think I care about the article singling out Apple you haven't read my post properly or gave it a totally different twist in your head. If you don't know what "target groups" are about in journalism, that's okay, but just say so and I'll try to explain it the best I can.

PGHammer said,

Sounds like you have a serious bone to pick with the article *because* it singles out Apple (and claims by Apple fanatics - not claims by Apple).

What he is saying is, this article talks down to us Neowin users like we don't understand this stuff already. It would be like going to CERN and lecturing about what the higgs boson is. It's just redundant.

The article would have better served to pick just one technology out of the list and explain who came up with it and what it was used for. Instead it's just a bucket list of things Apple didn't invent which we already knew.

Vice said,
People actually thought Apple invented any of this stuff? I thought it was pretty much well known that Apple is a popularist not really an inventor. They combine other peoples technology to produce products not the other way around.

It's really scary. Last night on the game show "You Deserve It", the contestant guessed that Steve Jobs / Apple invented Windows...

Please realise that you aren't the only people who read Neowin. And I seriously doubt any here actually knew all the true originators of each technology.

Besides, you can point other people to the article, even if you didn't feel it told *you* a great deal.

Leonick said,

How many Smartphones and their features did you actually see marketed before the iPhone? The manufacturers didn't really care to sell them to anything but business users, and they already knew of them.

Uh, quite a lot. HTC was pimping their Windows Mobile phones, Nokia was selling it's Symbian phones, RIM was making a killing with Blackberry, etc.