Chronology of
Apple Computer Personal Computers

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This document is an attempt to bring various published sources together to present a timeline about Apple Computer Personal Computers. Note: Apple ® is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. Other company and product names are the property of their respective owners. Such names are used for identification purposes only. This site is solely the work of , and is not affiliated with or endorsed by any of the companies listed herein.

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References are numbered in [brackets], which are listed here. A number after the dot gives the page in the source.

Last updated: 2022 April 29.


  • Steve Wozniak offers his new computer (Apple) to Hewlett-Packard, who reject it as a non-viable product. [930.34]
March 1
  • Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs finish work on a computer circuit board, that they call the Apple I computer, which uses a standard keyboard for input, and standard television for output. [46] [1886.64] [2605.5]
April 1
  • Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Gerald Wayne incorporate the Apple Computer Company, on April Fool's Day. Ownership is split 45/45/10, respectively. [9] [46] [140] [218] [606.18] [1112.138] [1298.187] [1886.64] [2245.14] [2605.6]
  • Paul Terrell orders 50 fully assembled Apple computers for $500 each from Steve Jobs, for his Byte Shop. [2605.7] (July [266.213])
April 6
  • Steve Jobs arranges a 3-month loan for Apple Computer of $5000. [2605.7]
April 12
  • Apple Computer co-founder Ron Wayne sells his share for US$800. [1112.138] [2605.7]
  • Stephen Wozniak demonstrates the Apple I at the Homebrew Computer Club. [266.xv] [1886.64]
April 28
  • Steve Wozniak requests a release from employer Hewlett-Packard for his new Apple computer. [2605.8]
May 5
  • Hewlett-Packard grants a release to Steve Wozniak for his Apple computer. [2605.8]
  • The Apple I computer board is sold in kit form, and delivered to stores by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Price: US$666.66. [46] [218] [593.350]
  • Paul Terrell receives his order of 50 Apple computers. [266.213]
  • Steve Wozniak begins work on the Apple II. [266.218]
  • Steve Wozniak has a working prototype of what will later be the Apple II. [2605.9]
(month unknown)
  • Steve Jobs shows the Apple II prototype to Commodore Business Machines representatives, offers to sell company for $100,000 cash, stock, and $36,000 per year salaries for himself and Steve Wozniak. No deal can be reached. [2605.9]
  • Mike Markkula, ex-marketing wizard at Intel, visits Steve Jobs' garage, to see the Apple computers. [266.215] [930.34]
  • Steve Wozniak decides to remain at Hewlett-Packard, but is soon convinced that he should leave and join Apple Computer permanently. [266.218] [2605.10]
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  • Steve Wozniak and Randy Wigginton demonstrate the first prototype Apple II at a Homebrew Computer Club meeting. [353.254]


  • Mike Markkula invests US$91,000 in Apple Computer, and backs a US$250,000 line of credit with Bank of America, in exchange for one-third interest in Apple Computer stock. [930.34] [1702.94] [2605.10]
January 3
  • Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Mike Markkula file for incorporation of Apple Computer. The corporation purchases the Apple Computer partnership for US$5308.96, paying Ron Wayne one-third of that. [861.33] [2605.10] (1977 March [353.259])
  • Apple Computer employees move into an office on Stevens Creek Boulevard in Cupertino, California. [266.219] (February [353.259])
  • Apple Computer hires Michael Scott as first president. [1886.64] [2605.11]
  • Rob Janov of Regis McKenna company designs the corporate logo for Apple Computer. [1886.64]
April 17
  • Apple Computer introduces the Apple II at the West Coast Computer Faire. The computer features a 6502 CPU, 4 kB RAM, 16 kB ROM, keyboard, 8-slot motherboard, game paddles, graphics/text interface to color display, and built-in BASIC, for US$1298. It is the first personal computer with color graphics. [9] [41] [46] [120] [140] [176.54] [203.7] [266.182] [346.47] [593.350] [1280.42] [1298.187] [1886.64] [2605.12] (March [185.114]) (July [716.234])
  • 10 months after its introduction, 175 Apple I kits have sold. [218]
  • Apple Computer delivers its first Apple II system. [1559] [1886.64] (April [196.20]) (May [528.352])
  • Apple II computers are first shipped to Europe by independent distributor Eurapple. [46]
  • Microsoft licenses its 6502 BASIC to Apple Computer for US$21,000. [346.48] [1299.111] [2605.13] [2605.13] (early 1978 [949.300])
  • Apple Computer de-lists the Apple I from its price list. [2605.14]
  • Apple Computer releases Applesoft, a version of BASIC with floating-point capabilities. It is licensed from Microsoft. [218]
  • At an executive board meeting at Apple Computer, president Mike Markkula lists the floppy disk drive as the company's top goal. [218] [266.225]
  • Steve Wozniak writes disk controller software for use with the Shugart 5.25-inch floppy disk drive for the Apple II. [618.63] [930.62]
  • Apple Computer revenues for the year: US$770,000. [203.8] [930.47] (US$700,000 [185.114])


  • Apple Computer demonstrates its first working prototype Apple II disk drive at the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas. [218]
January 28
  • Apple Computer moves into office space at 10260 Bandley Drive in Cupertino, California. [2605.8]
  • Apple Computer introduces interface cards for the Apple II computer to connect to most available printers. [1886.64]
  • At the Consumer Electronics Show, Apple Computer introduces the Apple Disk II, a 5.25-inch floppy disk drive linked to the Apple II by cable. Price: US$495, including controller card. [46] [203.46] [231.218] [266.227] [346.48] [1397.D5] (price US$595 [1886.64]) (July [218] [2605.13])
(month unknown)
  • Apple Computer hires Chuck Peddle. [266.231]
  • Year-end sales for Apple Computer: US$7.8 million. Profits: US$0.8 million. [256.212]
(month unknown)
  • Personal Software company software publisher Dan Fylstra loans an Apple II to Dan Bricklin to create his spreadsheet program (will be VisiCalc). [618.67]
  • Apple Computer begins work on an enhanced Apple II with custom chips, code-named Annie. [266.231]
  • Apple Computer begins work on a supercomputer with a bit-sliced architecture, code-named Lisa. [266.231]
  • Chuck Peddle quits Apple Computer and returns to Commodore International. [266.231]
  • Shipments of Apple Computer Apple II computers during the year: 20,000, valued at US$30 million. [234.117] (US$7.9 million [930.47]) (US$7 million [185.114] [203.8])


  • Personal Software's Daniel Fylstra shows Apple Computer's Mike Markkula and Steve Jobs a prototype Applesoft program called Calculedger (later released as VisiCalc), written by Daniel Bricklin and Robert Frankston. Fylstra offers the program to Apple for $1 million. No deal. [2605.14]
  • Apple Computer releases DOS 3.2. [218]
  • At the West Coast Computer Faire, Corvus Systems introduces an interface between an Apple II and a US$5000 10 MB IMI Winchester hard drive. To their surprise, they receive orders for 60 units. [995.ss48]
  • Apple Computer introduces the Apple II Plus, with 48 kB RAM, additional color capabilities, Applesoft in ROM, for US$1195. [46] [200.1] [218] [593.350] [2605.14]
  • Apple Computer introduces its first printer, the Apple Silentype, for US$600. It is a Trendcom Model 200, released under the Apple name. [46] [218]
(month unknown)
  • Apple Computer begins work on "Sara", the code-name for what will be the Apple III. [203.49] (1978 [266.232])
  • Apple Computer releases the word processing program AppleWriter 1.0. [218]
  • Apple Computer releases Apple Pascal. [912.136]
  • Hayes Microcomputer Products introduces the 110/300 baud Micromodem II for the Apple II, for US$380. [218]
  • Richard Garriott releases the Akalabeth game for the Apple II computer in the US. [1688.116]
  • Microsoft releases the Flight Simulator game for the Apple II. [1732.90]
  • Apple Computer creates three projects: Apple III for business, Lisa for high-end business, and Macintosh for research experiments. [2605.15]
  • Apple Computer releases DOS 3.2.1. [218]
  • Apple Computer hires Ken Rothmuller as project manager of project Lisa, which is to be a $2000 business computer to ship in March 1981,, with built-in display, keyboard, traditional user interface, and bit-slice microprocessor. [2605.73]
  • Apple Computer's board of directors approves a research project into building an all-in-one computer targeted at an average user. (The Macintosh computer will emerge in 1984.) [1886.64] [2605.88]
  • Apple Computer sells 35,000 Apple II computers for the fiscal year. [266.231]
  • Year-end sales at Apple Computer: US$48 million. Profits: US$5 million. [256.212]
  • 2.5 years after the introduction of the Apple II computer, 50,000 units have been sold. [218]
October 17
  • Personal Software releases VisiCalc for the Apple II, for US$99. (Over its lifetime, over 700,000 copies are sold.) [46] [140] [218] [266.230] [346.102] [618.70] [1033.171] [1056.327] [1112.139] [1149.146] [2605.14] (November [120])
  • A group of Apple Computer engineers and executives is given a demonstration of the Alto computer system at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. In exchange, Xerox buys 100,000 Apple Computer shares for US$1 million. [180.77] [266.xv] [346.146] [582.205] [618.189] [734.45] [741.210] [1112.142] [1886.64] [2605.75]
(month unknown)
  • Apple Computer's Trip Hawkins negotiates a deal with Dan Fylstra of Personal Software to buy his company and VisiCalc for US$1 million in Apple Computer stock. Apple's president refuses to approve the deal. [618.72]
  • During the year, Apple Computer sells US$48 million worth of computers. [185.116] (US$47 million [203.8]) (US$49 million [930.47])


  • Mike Harvey begins the Nibble magazine for Apple Computer products. [218]
  • Apple Computer releases Apple FORTRAN software for the Apple II. [1886.65]
  • At the West Coast Computer Faire, Microsoft announces its first hardware product, the Z-80 SoftCard for the Apple II. This card, incorporating a Zilog Z-80 processor, gives the Apple II CP/M capability, contributing greatly to Apple Computer's success. The card includes CP/M and Microsoft's Disk BASIC, all for US$349. Tim Patterson of Seattle Computer Products had built several prototypes before Microsoft's Don Burdis took over the project. The "Z-80" part of the name is later dropped at Zilog's request. [9] [252.47] [266.269] [346.65] [1299.137] (April [123])
May 19
  • Apple Computer introduces the Apple III at the National Computer Conference, in Anaheim, California. The Apple III features 2-MHz Synertek 6502A microprocessor, maximum 128 kB RAM, Shugart 143 kB 5.25-inch floppy drive, keyboard and numeric keypad, 4 internal expansion slots, 2 serial ports, Apple II emulation mode, Sophisticated Operating System, 80x24 text and 560x192 pixel monochrome graphics. Price ranges from US$4500 to US$8000. Code name during development was Sara. [9] [176.145] [252.50] [258.208] [266.234] [1056.324] [1151.S3.15] [1334.D1] [1886.65] [2605.41] (September [120] [203.58] [593.350])
(month unknown)
  • Apple Computer begins project "Diana", which will become the Apple IIe. [218]
  • Ken and Roberta Williams start On-Line Systems, developing software for the Apple II. First game released is Mystery House. [353.282] [1532.10]
  • Microsoft releases the SoftCard for the Apple II. (5,000 are sold in a couple months; 25,000 sell by the end of the year; 100,000 sell over the product's lifetime.) [1149.158,173] [1299.138] (August [346.260])
  • Apple Computer releases DOS 3.3. [218]
  • The first issue of Softalk magazine for Apple Computer products appears. [218] [353.310]
  • Apple Computer sells over 78,000 Apple II computers during the fiscal year. [266.234]
September 30
  • Year-end sales at Apple Computer: US$117 million. Profits: US$11.7 million. [256.212] [1154.D6]
(month unknown)
  • Apple Computer ships the first Apple III units in limited quantity. [266.234] (January 1981 [258.208]) (March 1981 [1151.S3.15])
  • Richard Garriott releases the Ultima I fantasy role-playing game for the Apple II computer in the US. [1175.55] [1688.116]
December 12
  • Apple Computer becomes a publicly held company, selling 4.6 million shares at US$22 per share. More than 40 Apple employees and investors become instant millionaires. With the stock value closing at $29, the market capotalization puts the company's worth at $1.778 billion. Stock held by Steve Jobs is worth $217 million, Steve Wozniak $116 million, and Mike Markkula $203 million. This is the largest initial public offering in the US since Ford Motor Company in 1956. [46] [185.116] [202.191] [256.212] [266.240] [745.59] [1048.D8] [1154.D6] [1559] [1886.65] [2605.15]
  • InfoCom releases the Zork adventure game for the Apple II. [548.436] [809]
  • During the year, Apple Computer sells US$96 million worth of computers. [185.114] (nearly US$120 million [930.52]) (US$200 million [1154.D6]
  • Shipments of Apple desktop computers in the US during the year: 79,500. [1150.D1]


  • A group at Apple Computer contemplates building an inexpensive computer based on technology of the Lisa computer. (This is the start of the Macintosh project.) [901.58]
February 10
  • Apple Computer announces the Apple III would no longer contain the built-in clock and calendar feature because National Semiconductor's clock chip didn't meet Apple's specifications. A $50 rebate is offered Apple III purchasers. [2605.42]
February 25
  • Apple Computer president Michael Scott lays off 40 of 1500 employees, and kills several projects. [2605.15]
  • Apple Computer begins volume shipments of Apple III computers. [2605.42]
  • Mike Markkula replaces Michael Scott as president of Apple Computer. Steve Jobs becomes chairman of the board. [202.211] [203.63] [1559] [1886.65] [2605.15] (April [618.187])
May 27
  • Apple Computer sells 2.6 million shares to the public, at US$31.25 per share. [1154.D6] [2605.43]
(month unknown)
  • Sir-Tech Software releases the fantasy role-playing game Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord for the Apple II. [1175.55]
  • Apple Computer prohibits mail-order sales of Apple computers, claiming there is no provision for customer education or services. [340.9]
  • Apple Canada is established. [880.94]
July 17
  • Michael Scott resigns from Apple Computer. [266.237] [2605.16]
(month unknown)
  • At Apple Computer, Steve Jobs and Andy Hertzfeld show Bill Gates a prototype of what will be the Macintosh computer. [1149.251,268]
August 24
  • Apple Computer runs a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal with a headline that reads "Welcome IBM. Seriously.". [46] [346.87] [606.26] [2605.68]
  • Apple Computer ships the 250,000th Apple computer. [1154.D6]
  • Apple Computer introduces its first hard drive, the Apple 5 Megabyte ProFile, for US$3499. [46] [1644.149] [1886.65] (November [1447.D4]) (1983 [205.36]) (Profile [854.38])
September 25
  • Apple Computer year-end sales US$334.8 million, earnings US$39.4 million. [1154.D6] [1162.D5]
  • Logo Computer Systems of Canada completes a contract with Apple Computer, for Apple to distribute their version of the LOGO language. This is the first time Apple agrees to co-label a product with an outside supplier, and the first time Apple signs a contract with a supplier outside of the US. [615.120]
November 9
  • Apple Computer officially re-introduces the Apple III, with base price $3495, improved sockets for chips, updated software, memory expansion up to 256 kB, and optional $3495 ProFile 5MB Seagate ST506 hard disk. [266.239] [2605.43]
  • Apple Computer signs a secret agreement with Apple Records (the record company started by the Beatles), allowing Apple Computer to use the "Apple" name for its business. Apple Computer agrees not to market audio/video products with recording or playback capabilities. [548.377] [597.102] [612.47] [1578.42] [2605.6]
  • Apple Computer begins shipping the updated Apple III computer. [2605.43]
  • Market share of personal computers: Radio Shack 20%, Apple Computer 17%, IBM 1.9%. [1316.S3.1]

End of 1976-1981. Next: 1982.
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1976-1981 1982-1983 1984-1985 1986-1989 1990-1991 1992 1993 1994-1995 1996-1997 1998-1999
2000-2001 2002-2003 2004-end

A list of references to all source material is available.

Other web pages of interest:

  • Chronology of Personal Computers
  • Personal Computer References in Pop Culture
  • This Day in Personal Computer and Video Game History
  • This Day in History

  • Last updated: 2022 April 29.
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