In this paper, Smale's α theory is generalized to the context of intrinsic Newton iteration on geodesically complete analytic Riemannian and Hermitian manifolds. Results are valid for analytic mappings from a manifold to a linear space of the same dimension, or for analytic vector fields on the manifold. The invariant γ is defined by means of high‐order covariant derivatives. Bounds on the size of the basin of quadratic convergence are given. If the ambient manifold has negative sectional curvature, those bounds depend on the curvature. A criterion of quadratic convergence for Newton iteration from the information available at a point is also given.