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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.
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” 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.
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 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.
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-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 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.
Below there is a list of places where you can see the Apple Computer 1 in person:
- National Museum of American History in Washington DC
- Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California
- American Computer & Robotics Museum in Bozeman, Montana
- Computer Museum of America in Roswell, Georgia
- Living Computers: Museum + Labs in Seattle, Washington
- System Source Computer Museum in Hunt Valley, Maryland
- MAAS Museum in Sydney, Australia
- Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum in Paderborn, Germany
- Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany
- Science Museum in London, United Kingdom
- Nexon Computer Museum in Jeju Island, South Korea
- Appl Collection in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Private)
- Apple Museum Poland in Warsaw, Poland (Replica)
Apple Computer 1 on Video
The Apple-1 has been 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.
|Introduced||April 11, 1976|
|Discontinued||September 1, 1977|
|Weight||5.3 Ibs. |
|Dimensions||15.5” 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||MOS Technology 6502|
|Number of Cores||1|
|Built-in Memory||4 KB|
|Maximum Memory||8 KB on-board65 KB via Expansion connector|
|Graphic Memory||1 KB|
|Memory Slots||16-pin, 4K Dynamic, type 4096 (2104)|
|Display Connection||1 – Composite positive video|
|Dual In-line Package (DIP)||1 – for ASCII encoded keyboard|
|Slots||1 – 44-pin Expansion connector|
1 – Cassette Board connector
|Media||1 – Cassette Interface (Optional)|
|Software||Apple Integer BASIC with optional Cassette Interface|
|Line Voltage||8 to 10 Volts AC At 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
- Rare and Historic Apple-1 Computer up for Auction
- 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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Last updated: March 6, 2023