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Apple I (Apple-1)
Apple I computer
Developer Apple Computer
Type Personal computer
Release date July 1976
Introductory price US$666.66
Discontinued September 1977
CPU MOS 6502 @ 1 MHz
Memory 4 KB standard
expandable to 8 KB or 48 KB using expansion cards
Graphics 40×24 characters, hardware-implemented scrolling

The Apple I, also known as the Apple-1, was an early personal computer. They were designed and hand-built by Steve Wozniak.[1][2] Wozniak's friend Steve Jobs had the idea of selling the computer. The Apple I was Apple's first product, demonstrated in April 1976 at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California. It went on sale in July 1976 at a price of $666.66[3], because Wozniak liked repeating digits[4] and because they originally sold it to a local shop for $500 and added a one-third markup. About 200 units were produced. Unlike other hobbyist computers of its day, which were sold as kits, the Apple I was a fully assembled circuit board containing about 30 chips. However, to make a working computer, users still had to add a case, power supply, keyboard, and display. An optional board providing a cassette interface for storage was later released at a cost of $75.

Excerpt from the later Apple II 'Red' manual, including Steve Wozniak's handwritten diagrams for the definition of shape tables

The Apple I's built-in computer terminal circuitry was distinctive. All one needed was a keyboard and an inexpensive television set. Competing machines such as the Altair 8800 generally were programmed with front-mounted toggle switches and used indicator lights (red LEDs, most commonly) for output, and had to be extended with separate hardware to allow connection to a computer terminal or a teletypewriter machine. This made the Apple I an innovative machine for its day. In April 1977 the price was dropped to $475.[5]. It continued to be sold through August 1977, despite the introduction of the Apple II in April 1977, which began shipping in June of that year.[6] Apple had dropped the Apple 1 from its price list by October 1977, officially discontinuing it.[7]

As of 2008, an estimated 30 to 50 Apple I computers are still known to exist, making it a very rare collector's item. An Apple I reportedly sold for $50,000 at auction in 1999; however, a more typical price for an Apple I is in the $14,000–$16,000 range.


Emulators, clones, and replicas

A software-compatible clone of the Apple I (Replica 1) produced using modern components, was released in 2003 at a price of around $200.[8][9][10] Other replicas and do-it-yourself kits and instructions are available.[11][12]

The Multi Emulator Super System emulator also supports the Apple I.[13]

Timeline of Apple II family models


The circuit board of a fully assembled Apple I
  1. ^ IOL Technology - Co-founder tells his side of Apple story
  2. ^ NPR : A Chat with Computing Pioneer Steve Wozniak
  3. ^ "Video: Wozniak: $666.66 seemed like a good idea". CNET News. 2005-11-07. Retrieved 2009-02-19.  
  4. ^ Wozniak, Steven: "iWoz", page 180. W. W. Norton, 2006. ISBN 978-0-393-06143-7
  5. ^ April 1977 Price List | Applefritter
  6. ^ Bill of Sale | Applefritter
  7. ^ October 1977 Price List | Applefritter
  8. ^ replica I - the apple I(c) clone, retrieved 2009-08-15
  9. ^ replica I at official Briel computers web site, retrieved 2008-08-15
  10. ^ Gagne, Ken Image gallery: Building an Apple-1 replica from scratch, Computerworld, 2009-08-14, story with pictures for assembling a Briel replica I from a kit, retrieved 2009-08-15
  11. ^ Owad, Tom Apple I Replica Creation, retrieved 2009-08-15
  12. ^ A-one, retrieved 2009-08-15
  13. ^ Apple I, retrieved 2008-08-15
  • Price, Rob, So Far:the First Ten Years of a Vision, Apple Computer, Cupertino, CA, 1987, ISBN 1-55693-974-4
  • Owad, Tom (2005). Apple I Replica Creation: Back to the Garage. Rockland, MA: Syngress Publishing. Copyright © 2005. ISBN 1-931836-40-X

External links

Preceded by
Apple I
Succeeded by
Apple II


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