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Apple II ships, placing Cupertino on map: Immediately in Apple historical past


June 10 Today in Apple history: The first Apple II computer ships June 10, 1977: Apple Laptop Inc. ships its first Apple II pc.

A hulking beige mammoth with 4KB of RAM (upgradeable to a whopping 48KB), the Apple II is the pc that can outline Apple for a technology of followers. Retailing at $1,298, it price the equal of a handful of MacBook Professionals in the present day  — despite the fact that it appeared a complete discount on the time.

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First Apple II ships

In contrast to its Apple I predecessor, the Apple II was polished and prepared for the mass market. It featured a keyboard, BASIC compatibility and, most notable of all, colour graphics. Regardless of being the corporate’s second pc, the Apple II was chargeable for plenty of firsts at Apple.

It additionally was the machine that turned Apple right into a million-dollar firm (sure, million — not billion). The yr the Apple II debuted, Apple turned over $770,000 in income. The yr after that, the pc’s success introduced in $7.9 million, and the yr after that $49 million.

That’s not all.

VisiCalc, a ‘killer app’ for the Apple II

VisiCalc, the world's first "killer app," in all its glory.
VisiCalc, the world’s first “killer app,” in all its glory.
Screenshot: Steven Weyhrich/Apple2History

It was additionally the pc that created Apple’s (and arguably private computing’s) first “killer app” within the type of VisiCalc. The world’s inaugural spreadsheet, VisiCalc turned private computer systems from cool-to-have toy into must-have enterprise accent. (They usually say it’s solely now that Apple’s actually stepping into the enterprise market.)

The Apple II grew to become the primary pc of many influential folks in tech. Amongst them was Mitch Kapor, founding father of Lotus Growth Company, co-founder of the Digital Frontier Basis, and the primary chair of the Mozilla Basis. Talking in regards to the Apple II within the type of reverent tones an individual solely makes use of for his or her old flame, Kapor informed me for my guide The Apple Revolution about promoting his stereo for money and driving to New Hampshire, the place there was no gross sales tax, to purchase certainly one of Apple’s sizzling new computer systems.

It moreover fueled Apple’s deal with industrial design. Apple designer Jerry Manock informed me he was employed to create “a pleasant steadiness between manufacturability and human elements.” Manock later went on to design the first Macintosh pc. However the Apple II is in some ways an equally iconic machine. It paved the best way for the appear and feel of later Apple creations.

Apple advertising and marketing comes of age

"Within just a few weeks, Steve [Jobs] received a letter from a woman in Oregon, complaining that the ad was sexist -- which it very clearly was," says original copywriter Bill Kelley.
“Inside just some weeks, Steve [Jobs] acquired a letter from a lady in Oregon, complaining that the advert was sexist — which it very clearly was,” says unique copywriter Invoice Kelley.

Lastly, the Apple II was the machine on which Apple lower its advertising and marketing enamel. To promote it, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs sought out promoting copywriters who hadn’t beforehand labored on pc campaigns as a means of doing one thing completely different.

“It was attention-grabbing to observe, however it wasn’t actually clear to us what we have been seeing,” says Invoice Kelley, the copywriter behind the primary Apple II adverts, recalling his first demo of the machine.

After the preliminary advertisements confirmed a sexist state of affairs wherein a lady slaved within the kitchen whereas her husband typed on the Apple II, Jobs acquired a livid letter from a lady in Oregon, complaining about it. Future commercials for the machine reversed the equation, and began a pattern for Apple advertisements that subvert viewer expectations.

First Apple II ships … and subsequent fashions maintain delivery!

Finally, the Apple II was an excellent machine. It stands as a triumph of collaboration between Apple co-founders Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who would by no means once more work so properly collectively. The pc benefited from nice peripherals just like the Disk II 5 1/4-inch floppy drive and very good software program starting from video games to productiveness instruments. The Apple II modified the face of computing years earlier than the Mac, iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch have been gleams within the eye of anybody in Cupertino.

The product line continued till 1993 — greater than 15 years after the primary Apple II shipped on at the present time in 1977, and practically a decade after the primary Mac arrived. Cupertino offered between 5 million and 6 million Apple II computer systems within the course of.

Blissful birthday, Apple II!

Do you’ve got fond (or not so fond) recollections of the Apple II? Share them with us within the feedback!



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