Harris Sues Apple For Abandoning Newton </font><br>
(10/22/98, 7:05 p.m. ET)<br>
Harris, a maker of semiconductor and communications products, has sued
Apple for $17 million in damages, saying it was left in the lurch when
Apple abandoned its Newton handheld computer.<P>
Harris, based in Melbourne, Fla., filed a suit on Wednesday in Santa Clara
County, Calif., Superior Court, alleging that Apple's decision last
February to halt the development of its Newton device set back its own
Jim Burke, a Harris spokesman, on Thursday said the company licensed the
technology from Apple and developed two Newton clone devices, the SuperTech
2000 and the AD2000, but added more software and made the devices more
rugged for use outdoors.
Harris targets its handheld devices to telecommunications companies with
technicians in the field, who could schedule appointments, communicate with
the home office, make equipment requests, and perform other remote
functions with the battery-operated handheld computer.
"We have switched over to a Windows CE solution, which we are working on
now, but the investment that we put into the Newton obviously put us back,"
Harris also lost about $10 million in a contract to Ameritech, the
Chicago-based telecommunications company, a deal that disintegrated the day
Apple announced its plans.
Officials at the Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker did not return
calls seeking comment.
In February, Apple decided to shut down its Newton business, which
developed the Newton MessagePad and the Newton operating system, in an
effort to streamline its product line and as part of a broad restructuring.
Burke also said other pending bids for business to other companies were
also lost as a result of Apple's abandoning development of the product line.