Jobs tapped 80's French gadget for ideas

2012-07-05 22:28


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - The man who turned Apple into a web-connected empire of consumer gadgets drew some of his inspiration from a table-top box that wired French households to networked information long before the arrival of mass internet, a French telecoms engineer says.

Long before hundreds of millions of homes worldwide began connecting to the internet in the 1990s, France's Minitel box, the steam train of the online world, attracted the attention of Apple’s now deceased founder, Steve Jobs.

The clunky Minitel, pulled out of service at the end of June, was used by about 25 million people in France at the time for services ranging from checking the weather to making travel reservations and posting small ads.

"He bought one and took it to bits to see how it worked," Gerard Thery, one of the Frenchmen behind the 1982 launch of the Minitel system, told business newspaper Economie Matin.

Two decades of internet sealed the fate of what once looked like a technological wonder that might conquer the world with a then wide range of shopping and travel booking services, accessible via the dial-up code 3615.

Its famous "Minitel Rose" sex chat lines were blamed for the astronomical phone bills of many unwitting customers.

Originally designed by France Telecom as an online directory to save paper, the Minitel never caught on abroad and was used by fewer and fewer French in recent years as the internet, and the flashy gadgets made by companies like Apple, rendered it obsolete.

Read more on:    apple  |  steve jobs  |  internet  |  technology

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36 publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Trying to keep time for your social commitments and friendships as well as taking care of work and health obligations can be more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.