Jobs did not come into the office regularly, but he was on the phone to Amelio often.
Once he had succeeded in making sure that Tevanian, Rubinstein, and others he trusted were given top positions,
he turned his focus onto the sprawling product line.
One of his pet peeves was Newton, the handheld personal digital assistant that boasted handwriting recognition capability.
It was not quite as bad as the jokes and Doonesbury comic strip made it seem, but Jobs hated it.
He disdained the idea of having a stylus or pen for writing on a screen.
"God gave us ten styluses," he would say, waving his fingers. "Let's not invent another."
In addition, he viewed Newton as John Sculley's one major innovation, his pet project.
That alone doomed it in Jobs's eyes. "You ought to kill Newton," he told Amelio one day by phone.
It was a suggestion out of the blue, and Amelio pushed back.
"What do you mean, kill it?" he said. "Steve, do you have any idea how expensive that would be?"
"Shut it down, write it off, get rid of it," said Jobs. "It doesn't matter what it costs.
People will cheer you if you got rid of it."
"I've looked into Newton and it's going to be a moneymaker," Amelio declared. "I don't support getting rid of it."
By May, however, he announced plans to spin off the Newton division, the beginning of its yearlong stutter-step march to the grave.