Apple Computer 1
Source: artmarketmonitor.com - Apple Computer 1

Apple Computer 1: Everything You Should Know

Without a doubt, the Apple Computer 1 is the most iconic computer in history. It was the first computer created for personal use and the beginning of Apple Inc. – the largest tech company on the planet.

Since the Apple-I it’s a breakthrough in the tech industry you might what to know more about this computer. In this article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the first Apple Computer.

Key Takeaways

The Apple Computer 1 known as Apple-1 is the first computer built by Apple. Apple 1 was released on April 11, 1976, as a limited edition of around 200 units. Despite its discontinuation on September 1, 1977, the Apple Computers have been in sale until the end of August 1977.

The original price of the Apple Computer 1 was set at $666. In April 1977 just after the Apple II was introduced, the price of the Apple-1 dropped to $475. Nowadays, the Apple I is the rarest computer on Earth, and the prices of the last Apple 1’s working units are enormous.

In June 2022, one of the Apple I’s units called “Schlumberger 2” has been sold privately through eBay for $310,100. In August 2022, a heavily damaged prototype of Apple Computer I has been sold for $677,000 through an RR Auction.

Apple Computer 1 Prototype
Source: MacRumors.com – Prototype of Apple 1

Table of Contents

A brief history of the Apple I
Where you can see the Apple I in person
Apple Computer 1 on Video
Quick overview of the Apple-1 details
Apple Computer I Tech Specifications
Connections and Accessories
Software
Power
Further reading

A brief history of the Apple I

The Apple-1, or rather the Apple Computer I is a desktop computer created 46 years ago by the Apple Computer. The originator and creator of the computer were Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs – Wozniak’s friend who came up with a brilliant idea to create a company and start selling computers. It turned out very quickly that Apple needed to find funds for making more computers. Jobs has sold his car, and Wozniak has sold his programmable HP-65 calculator as well to afford expenses.

Apple 1  - Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak
Source: theverge.com – Apple 1 – Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak

The Apple I went on sale on April 11, 1976, for $666.66. The company produced two hundred pieces of this computer. It is worth noting that, unlike other computers sold at the time for hobbyists in the form of “Do it yourself”, the Apple I was already fully assembled. Nevertheless, to get a fully functional computer, its buyers had to add a case, a power supply, a keyboard, and a monitor. The Apple I was the first publicly available computer to be used with a monitor and a keyboard.

The Apple Computer 1 ran Apple Integer BASIC, a programing language developed by Steve Wozniak, especially for the Apple 1. Apple’s first computer promised flexibility, performance, and ease of use. It’s been packed with a 1 MHz 8-bit MOS Technology 6502 microprocessor, 4 kilobytes of RAM, and 1 kilobyte of Graphic memory, which was huge at the time. There was no internal storage, no keyboard, no display, and no other peripherals.

The Apple II model was the successor of the Apple-I. It went on sale on 16 April 1977 and, unlike its predecessor, it had housing and a keyboard.

Where you can see the Apple I in person

The Apple Computer 1 is right now a scarce piece of tech you can find. The last working units are mostly in museums or private collections. Because of the fact that the Apple I’s are so rare and most of them don’t work, there are just a few places where working units of this computer are displayed to the public. The Apple-1 can be seen in the United States, Australia, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Poland, Germany, and Great Britain.

Replica of Apple Computer 1
Source: applemuzeumpolska.pl – Replica of Apple Computer 1

Below there is a list of places where you can see the Apple Computer 1 in person:

Apple Computer 1 on Video

Quick overview of the Apple-1 details

IntroducedApril 11, 1976
DiscontinuedSeptember 1, 1977
Original Price$666,66
Model NumberUnknown
Weight5.3 Ibs. 
2.400 KG
Dimensions15.5” W x 9” D 
39.37 cm W x 22.86 cm D

Apple I Tech Specs

ProcessorMOS Technology 6502
Speed1 MHz
Architecture8-bit
Number of Cores1
Graphic Memory1 KB
StorageNone
Built-in Memory4 KB
Maximum Memory8 KB on-board
65 KB via Expansion connector
Memory Slots16-pin, 4K Dynamic, type 4096 (2104)

Apple I Connections and Accessories

Display Connection1 – Composite positive video
KeyboardNone
Dual In-line Package (DIP)1 – for ASCII encoded keyboard
Expansion Slots1 – 44-pin Expansion connector
1 – Cassette Board connector
Media1 – Cassette Interface (Optional)

Apple I Software

SoftwareApple Integer BASIC with optional Cassette Interface

Apple I Power

Power58 W
Line Voltage8 to 10 Volts AC (RMS @ 3A, 26 to 28 Volts AC (RMS) Center-Tapped, 1A

Further reading and references

Apple I – Wikipedia
Apple I – Mac History
Apple-1 – Fandom
The Apple-1 – Apple-1 Registry
Apple I Microcomputer – National Museum of American History
The Apple Revolution: 10 Key Moments – TIME
‘Apple Computer A’ Prototype Apple-1 – MacRumors
Rare Apple-1 Computer Available from Christie’s Private Sale – ArtMarketMonitor
Working Apple-1 computer sold by Steve Jobs – TheVerge

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