Apple Computer 1 Apple Computer 1

Apple Computer 1 Explained

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 want 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 the Apple Computer Company. 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” was sold privately through eBay for $310,100. In August 2022, a heavily damaged prototype of Apple Computer I was sold for $677,000 through an RR Auction.

Prototype of Apple 1
Source: rrauction.com – Prototype of Apple 1

A Brief History of the Apple I

The Apple-1, or rather the Apple Computer I is a desktop computer created 47 years ago by the Apple Computer Company.

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: computerhistory.org – 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 programming 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-1 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 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

Apple-1 Details

The Apple-1 was introduced on April 11, 1976, and went on sale for $666.66. The first 50 units were sold in The Byte Shop, Mountain View, California. Only 200 Apple Computer 1 was produced and sold until September 1, 1977, but computers were available at a reduced price of $475.

IntroducedApril 11, 1976 – 47 years ago
DiscontinuedSeptember 1, 1977 – 46 years ago
Original Price$666.66
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

Apple-1 was powered by a 1 MHz 8-bit MOS Technology 6502 microprocessor with only one core. The motherboard of Apple Computer 1 features 4 KB of built-in memory, 1 KB of graphics memory, a keyboard interface, Firmware in proms, complete video terminal electronics, four fully regulated power supplies, an expansion connector, and a cassette board connector.

Processor

ProcessorMOS Technology 6502
Speed1 MHz
Architecture8-bit
Number of Cores1

Memory

StorageNone
Built-in Memory4 KB
Maximum Memory8 KB on-board65 KB via Expansion connector
Graphic Memory1 KB
Memory Slots16-pin, 4K Dynamic, type 4096 (2104)

Connections

Display Connection1 – Composite positive video
Dual In-line Package (DIP)1 – for ASCII encoded keyboard

Expansion

Slots1 – 44-pin Expansion connector
1 – Cassette Board connector
Media1 – Cassette Interface (Optional)

Software

SoftwareApple Integer BASIC with optional Cassette Interface
FirmwareNone

Power

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

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Further Reading and References

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Disclaimer: The data presented in this article is under continuous development and has been manually collected from various sources based on their availability. The author of this article may revise this dataset as additional research is conducted and reviewed. Please note that the information is provided “as is” and “as available” without express or implied warranties. The author cannot be held responsible for any omissions, inaccuracies, or errors in the published information. Any warranties relating to this information are hereby disclaimed.