Apple II goes on sale, June 5, 1977

-June 05, 2016

The first Apple II, an 8-bit home computer and one of the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputer products, went on sale on June 5, 1977, after being introduced by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak at West Coast Computer Faire the April before.

Designed by Wozniak and manufactured by Apple Computer (now Apple Inc), the Apple II is the first model in a series of computers that were produced until the Apple IIe was discontinued in November 1993.

With a base price of $1298, the computers came with a MOS Technology 6502 microprocessor running at 1 MHz, 4 kB of RAM, an audio cassette interface for loading programs and storing data, and the Integer BASIC programming language built into the ROMs.

The video controller displayed 24 lines by 40 columns of monochrome, upper-case-only text on the screen, with NTSC composite video output suitable for display on a TV monitor, or on a regular TV set by way of a separate RF modulator.

The Apple logo on the casing featured rainbow stripes to reflect the computer's color graphics capability. The stripes remained a part of Apple's corporate logo until early 1998.

In describing the technical details of the computer, Wozniak wrote in Byte magazine at the time of the Apple II’s premier that: “To me, a personal computer should be small, reliable, convenient to use and inexpensive.”

While the Apple II would not be considered to be small, reliable, convenient or even inexpensive by today’s standards, Apple has evolved into one of the most influential computing players and currently offers Mac computers at price points below $600, iPads below $330, and iPhones below $200 known for their ease of use, connected capabilities, and small form factor.


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For more moments in tech history, see this blog. EDN strives to be historically accurate with these postings. Should you see an error, please notify us.

Editor's note
: Some sources list the date the Apple II went on sale as June 10, 1977.

This article was originally posted on June 5, 2012, and edited on June 5, 2016.

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