The Legendary Apple II Turns 35 Years Old
Apple's Apple II, widely considered to have been Apple's first significant product, is celebrating its 35th birthday today.
Apple originally launched the product at the West Coast Computer Faire on April 16, 1977, the computer was sold in various versions until 1993 with an estimated total production count landing somewhere between five and six million devices.
The Apple II was available for sale on June 5, 1977 and ran on a MOS Technology 6502 microprocessor that was clocked at 1 MHz. For a suggested retail price of $1298, buyers also got 4 KB of RAM, a data-sette to store and load program code, NTSC composite video output that supported 40 columns by 24 lines of monochrome, upper-case-only as well as the Integer BASIC programming language. An estimated 40,000 Apple II units sold until its production end in 1981.
The run of the Apple II also included the IIc model, introduced in 1984, which was Apple's first portable computer. The fifth and most successful desktop iteration was the IIGS, which sold an estimated 1.25 million units. Introduced in 1986 for $1000, the IIGS had a 2.8 MHz processor, 8 MG of RAM as well as support for 4096 colors. The device also came standard with an Ensoniq ES5503 DOC wavetable sound chip.