Chronology of Apple Computer Personal Computers

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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.


January 1
  • Trip Hawkins resigns as director of product marketing at Apple Computer. [2583.77]
  • Apple Computer gives Microsoft its first Macintosh prototype, for Microsoft to develop applications on. [686.146] [1149.269] [1299.188] (summer [346.149])
January 22
  • Microsoft signs an agreement with Apple Computer, for Microsoft to develop applications for the Macintosh computer. The applications are spreadsheet, business graphics, and database software. Microsoft is not allowed to release similar software for non-Apple computers until one year after the Macintosh introduction, or January 1, 1983, whichever came first. [477.157] [1149.268] [1299.188] [2605.169]
  • Jef Raskin resigns from Apple Computer, effective March 1. [1559] [2605.94]
  • The case design for the Macintosh computer is completed. [2605.94]
  • Apple Computer ships Apple LOGO, supplied by Logo Computer Systems of Canada. [615.120]
  • Coprocessors Inc. introduces the 88-Card, a plug-in card for the Apple II, with 64 kB RAM and an Intel 8088 microprocessor. [396.14]
  • Xebec introduces a 5 MB hard disk and controller kit for Apple or CP/M computers, for US$1300. [396.16]
(month unknown)
  • Franklin Computer unveils the Franklin Ace 1000, the first legal (at the time) Apple II clone. It uses a 1.022 MHz 6502 CPU, and comes with 64 kB RAM. [9] [291.10] [1062.D4]
April 19
  • Apple Computer announces it is terminating its central purchasing agreement with Computerland, effective July 15. In its place, Apple will deal directly with individual Computerland outlets. [1301.D13]
  • Trip Hawkins leaves Apple Computer to start a new software company. [241.75]
(month unknown)
  • Robert Lissner begins work on Apple Pie, which would be marketed by Apple Computer as AppleWorks for the Apple II. [218]
  • Apple Computer announces the Lisa computer to the press. [266.xv]
  • Apple Computer releases the Apple Dot Matrix Printer, for US$700. It is a modified C.Itoh printer. [46] (price US$2195 [1886.65])
July 30
  • The project Lisa team at Apple Computer has all of its applications working together for the first time. [2605.77]
  • Microsoft releases the Multiplan spreadsheet software for the Apple II. Initial name was Electronic Paper. [346.263] [1149.222] [1701.138]
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September 1
  • At Apple Computer, the Lisa computer is declared ready for market. [2605.77]
  • C. Itoh Electronics signs a long-term agreement to supply dot-matrix printers to Apple Computer. [1086.D5]
September 30
  • Apple year end sales: US$583 million. [930.125]
(month unknown)
  • Apple Computer sues Franklin Computer for copyright infringement of the operating system in the Apple II. [982.D5]
November 16
  • Apple Computer' Steve Jobs writes to the president of McIntosh Laboratory seeking worldwide release for name "Macintosh" for use in computer industry. Lawyers for the company deny the request. [2605.87]
  • Corporate head-hunter Gerry Rocke, of Heidrick & Struggles, calls Pepsi-Cola president John Sculley, asking him to take the position of chief executive of Apple Computer. [745.57]
  • At the COMDEX show, Franklin Computer shows off a prototype of the Franklin Ace 1200, an Apple II compatible. [529.196]
  • Steve Jobs and Mike Markkula meet with Pepsi-Cola president John Sculley, discussing the possibility of him heading Apple Computer. Sculley says he is not interested. [745.62] [930.77]
December (month)
  • Shipments of Apple Computer Apple II computers during the month: 45,000. [1017.D6]
  • Shipments of Apple Computer Apple III computers during the month: 5,000. [1017.D6]
  • Apple Computer becomes the first personal computer company to reach US$1 billion in annual sales. [46] [1559] [1886.65] [2605.64]
  • Sales of Apple II computers for the year: 300,000 units, totaling US$600 million revenue. 750,000 Apple II systems have been shipped in total, of which 45,000 are Apple II Plus computers. [444.493] [930.11] [862.494] [997.D5] (600,000 Apple II systems to date [444.494])


  • In New York, Apple Computer gives a sneak preview of the Lisa computer for select members of the press, and John Sculley, president of Pepsi-Cola. [745.68] [930.9,77]
  • Apple Computer releases the Apple Letter Quality Printer, for US$2200. It is a modified Qume printer. [218]
  • Ziff-Davis begins publishing A+ magazine for Apple Computer products. [218]
January 18
  • Franklin Computer shows an operating Franklin Ace 1200 Apple II compatible at the CP/M '83 Show. It features an 8-bit processor, 128 kB RAM, color display, upper/lower-case keyboard, 143 kB floppy drive, CP/M card, 80-column text card, for US$2200. [529.196]
  • To date, 750,000 Apple II computers have been sold. [1017.D6]
January 19
  • Apple Computer officially unveils the Lisa computer. It features a 5-MHz Motorola 68000 microprocessor, 1 MB RAM, 2 MB ROM, 12-inch B/W monitor, 720x364 graphics, dual 5.25-inch 860 kB floppy drives, 5 MB Profile hard drive, detachable keyboard, one-button mouse, and seven integrated programs (spreadsheet, drawing, graphing, file manager, project manager, terminal emulator, word processor). It is slow, but innovative. Its initial price is US$9995. The Lisa computer cost Apple Computer US$50 million to develop. It is the first personal computer with a graphical user interface (GUI). The software for it cost Apple Computer US$100 million to develop. "Lisa" stands for Local Integrated Software Architecture. (During its lifetime, 100,000 units are produced.) [9] [41] [46] [75] [80] [140] [176.145] [180.16,102] [202.211] [203.63] [346.149] [443.4] [443.42] [447.457] [477.158] [593.350] [606.141] [862.494] [1017.D5] [1639.105] [1886.65] [1918.75] [2605.77] ("Lisa" was name of original chief engineer's daughter [930.12]) (1982 January [120])
  • Apple Computer introduces the Apple IIe. It features 64 kB RAM, Applesoft BASIC, upper/lower case keyboard, seven expansion slots, 40x24 and 80x24 text, 1 MHz 6502 processor, up to 560x192 graphics, 140 kB 5.25-inch floppy drive, Apple DOS 3.3, for US$1395. [46] [75] [120] [199.1] [200.1] [443.4] [443.68] [593.350] [862.494] [1017.D6]
  • Apple Computer stops production of the Apple II Plus computer. [1020.C4]
  • Quote by Steve Jobs, of Apple Computer, "We're prepared to live with Lisa for the next ten years." (Apple will drop Lisa from its product line in 1985.) [734.47]
(month unknown)
  • Apple Computer's Steve Jobs offers IBM's Don Estridge the position of president of Apple Computer, for US$1 million per year, US$1 million signing bonus, and US$2 million to buy a house. Don Estridge turns it down. [618.121]
February 11
  • A Taipei, Taiwan, district criminal court dismisses Apple Computer's charges against Sunrise Computer Service and Golden Formosa Microcomputer of making and selling pirated copies of patented Apple software products. [1314.D4]
March 15
  • A Taipei, Taiwan, high court upholds Apple Computer's charges against Sunrise Computer Service and Golden Formosa Microcomputer of making and selling pirated copies of patented Apple software products. [1314.D4]
  • Apple Computer pays McIntosh Laboratory for a license to rights to use the name "Macintosh". [2605.87]
April 8
  • John Sculley is hired at Apple Computer as president and chief executive officer. He is to receive $500,000 salary, $500,000 bonus, $1 million signing bonus, $1 million golden parachute clause, and options on 350,000 Apple shares. [203.63] [266.281] [1886.65] [2605.79,154] (May [346.150])
April 13
  • John Sculley holds his first executive staff meeting at Apple Computer. [930.71]
  • Apple Computer is listed at position 411 in the Fortune 500 list, up from 598 in 1982, the fastest ascent in business history. [2605.64]
  • At the CES, Video Technology introduces the Laser 3000, an Apple II workalike microcomputer. It features 2 MHz 6502 processor, 24 kB ROM, 64 kB RAM, 81-key keyboard, optional Z80A cartridge for CP/M, 80-column text display, 560x192 graphics, four sound channels, and I/O interfaces. [530.202] [885.231]
  • Unitronics shows the Sonic, an Apple II workalike microcomputer. It uses a TI video display processor chip, 48 kB RAM, and built-in wafertape drive. [530.204]
  • Taiwan Happy Home Computer Company shows the Multi-System microcomputer, compatible with both the Apple II and the IBM PC. [530.204]
  • The one millionth Apple II is made. [46] [75] [346.264] [9] [885.8]
  • Apple Computer begins shipping the Lisa computer. [477.159] [930.114] [1299.220] [2605.79]
  • Apple Computer officially begins marketing the Lisa computer. [346.150]
July 18
  • The one millionth Apple II computer is sold, in California. [2605.23]
  • A US Federal Court of Appeals rules that Franklin Computer did violate Apple Computer copyrights on computer programs and the Apple Computer operating system on ROM chips. This overturns a lower court's ruling that programs on chips are indistinguishable from the hardware itself, which is not subject to copyrights, only patent protection. [80] [983.D5]
September 12
  • Apple Computer reduces the price of the Lisa computer with software from US$9995 to US$8190, and also makes the Lisa available without software for US$6995. [901.84] [902.8] [2605.79]
  • Microsoft France releases Multiplan for the Apple II. [346.118]
  • The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rules in a lawsuit by Apple Computer against another company that virtually all computer programs can be copyrighted, as they are separate from the computer chips on which they are stored. [1284.D4]
September 30
  • Apple year end sales US$982 million. [930.125]
October 23
  • Apple Computer holds its annual sales conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. The theme of the event is "Leading the Way". The 1984 commercial is shown, then the Macintosh is unveiled. [930.129] [2605.111]
  • Apple Computer begins giving sneak previews of the Macintosh computer to the press. [930.151] (December [372.29])
(month unknown)
  • Steve previews the 1984 commercial for the Apple Computer board of directors. None of the board like the film. [930.132] [1885.18]
  • Quote by Apple Computer's Mike Markkula to Steve Jobs, on seeing the 1984 Macintosh TV ad: "You mean you really want to show this?". [663.84]
  • At Apple Computer, the Lisa and Macintosh divisions are combined into Apple 32 SuperMicro division, with Steve Jobs as leader. [2605.80]
  • Apple Computer releases AppleWorks software for the Apple II. AppleWorks is one of the first integrated software packages, with modules for word processing, database management, and spreadsheet calculations. It was written by Rupert Lissner. [1886.65] (1984 [218])
(month unknown)
  • In Australia, a federal court rules that computer ROM programs are not literary works, and as such are not protected by Australian copyright law. Apple Computer had sued an Australian computer dealer for copyright infringement of the Taiwan-made Wombat computer. [901.8]
December 5
  • Electronic Arts introduces the Julius Erving & Larry Bird Go One-On-One basketball game for the Apple II computer. [668.66]
December 15
  • In the 1:00 AM sign-off slot of KMVT television station in Twin Falls, Idaho, Apple Computer runs its 1984 Macintosh ad, solely to make the ad eligible for awards during 1984. Cost of running the ad: $10. [180.171]
  • The International Trade Commission issues an exclusion order to prevent Apple lookalike computers made in Taiwan from entering the US. [983.D5]
  • Apple Computer introduces the redesigned Apple III as the Apple III Plus, with 256 kB RAM, clock, new logic board, SOS 1.3, and DB.25 peripheral ports, for US$2995. [46] [75] [203.58] [593.350] [2605.43]
December (month)
  • Apple Computer sells 110,000 Apple IIe during the month, setting a one month sales record. [997.D5] [1004.D4] (100,000 [990.D4])
  • Shipments of Apple Computer Lisa computers for the year: 15,000. Initial estimates were 50,000. [80] (11,000 shipped [203.63])
  • Apple Computer company revenues hit US$983 million for the year. [203.63]
  • Shipments of Apple Computer computers for the year: 750,000. [997.D5]
  • Market share of personal computers worldwide for the year: Apple Computer 11.2%. [1682.49]

End of 1982-1983. Next: 1984.
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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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