Chronology of Apple Computer Personal Computers

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Last updated: 2022 April 29.


January 4
  • Franklin Computer agrees to pay US$2.5 million in damages to Apple Computer for copyright infringement of the operating system used in the Apple II computer. Franklin Computer agrees to cease selling their cloned operating system by April 1. [982.D4]
January 17
  • Apple Computer begins running its 1984 Macintosh ad in a 30-second format for months in movie theaters. [2605.113]
January 22
  • Apple Computer runs its 1984 60 second TV commercial during the NFL SuperBowl XVIII football game, introducing the Macintosh computer. Apple Computer runs the full ad only once, but dozens of news and talk shows replay it, making it one of the most memorable ads in TV history. The ad cost US$400,000 to produce, and US$800,000 for TV air time. [46] [180.169] [185.121] [203.64] [582.116] [617.16] [716.13] [1149.267] [1002.C1] [2605.113] (cost US$700,000 to make [1885.18])
January 24
  • At the Flint Center of DeAnza College in Cupertino, California, Apple Computer holds its annual stockholders meeting. The 1984 TV advertisement is shown, then Steve Jobs introduces the Apple Macintosh. It features a 7.83-MHz 32-bit Motorola 68000 CPU, built-in 9-inch monochrome screen, 512x342 graphics, 400 kB 3.5-inch Sony 400-kB floppy disk drive, mouse, 128 kB RAM. Weight is 20 pounds; size is 9.7 by 10.9 inches on base and 13.5 inches high; price: US$1995-2495. Original code-name was McIntosh. The 216 kB System 1 operating system was derived from LisaDesk. MacWrite and MacPaint software are included free for a limited time. [9] [41] [46] [75] [120] [140] [185.121] [205.38] [266.281] [346.151] [372.29] [477.159] [542.114] [582.21] [593.350] [597.94,104] [617.16] [662.8] [901.31] [930.157] [950.339] [997.D1] [1003.C3] [1004.D5] [1076.23] [1149.267] [1205.36] [1248.17] [1648.54] [1886.66] [2605.79,96]
  • Quotes by Macintosh computer, introducing itself: "It sure is great to get out of that bag", and "Hello, I am Macintosh. Never trust a computer you cannot lift". [662.84] [811.58] [930.157] [950.339] [2245.15]
  • Apple Computer introduces its 300-baud modem for US$300, and 1200-baud modem for US$500. [75] [950.339]
  • Apple Computer releases the Apple ImageWriter printer for US$595. It is a modified C.Itoh printer. [950.339] (December 1983 [218] [1886.65]) (price US$695 [218]
  • At the Apple Computer stockholder meeting, Apple releases a new version of the Lisa computer, the Lisa 2. It can use the Macintosh operating system, or an update of the Lisa operating system. It comes with 512 kB RAM, mouse, keyboard, built-in 12-inch monitor, and one 3.5-inch 400 kB floppy drive, for US$3495. The Lisa 2/5 includes a 5 MB hard drive, for US$4495. The Lisa 2/10 includes a 10 MB hard drive, for US$5495. [373.11] [901.84] [950.339] [2605.79]
January 31
  • Apple Computer is reorganized into three divisions: Apple II, Apple 32, and Accessory Products. [1007.D4]
  • Project IIx is cancelled at Apple Computer. [218] (April [930.174])
April 6
  • 74 days after the introduction of the Macintosh, 50,000 units have been sold. [218] (April 6, 73 days [2605.98])
  • Microsoft ships Multiplan 1.01 for the Macintosh. [912.44]
  • The Canon Sales Company debuts the Apple Macintosh in Japan. [498.D4]
  • Apple Computer announces the LCD flat panel display for the Apple IIc. Size is to be about 11 x 5 x 1.5 inches; weight is 2.5 pounds; resolution 560 x 192 pixels. [1146.86]
  • Apple Computer releases the color Apple Scribe printer, using a special waxed ribbon and thermal print head. [218]
April 24
  • At the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Apple Computer unveils the Apple IIc with an intense publicity extravaganza. It features a 1 MHz 65C02A processor, 128 kB RAM, 16 kB ROM, 3.5-inch floppy drive, 63-key keyboard, carrying handle, optional 9-inch monitor. Weight is 7.5 pounds. The operating system supports 40- or 80-column screens, and allows both QWERTY and Dvorak keyboard layouts. Priced at US$1300, 2,000 dealers place orders for more than 52,000 units on the day of its introduction. [46] [75] [120] [199.1] [200.14] [218] [358.76] [593.350] [880.94,127] [930.174] [950.276] [1146.84] [2605.18] (May [9])
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  • Steve Jobs announces at the Apple IIc unveiling that 60,000 Macintosh computers have been shipped to date. [930.176]
  • Apple Computer ceases development of the Apple III and Apple III+ [46] [75] [203.58] [930.175] [2605.18]
(month unknown)
  • In Boston, Massachussettes, the Applefest show is held. [241.109]
May 1
  • Alan Kay joins Apple Computer as an Apple Fellow. [1344.D5] [2605.76]
May 3
  • Apple Computer announces that 70,000 Macintosh computers have been shipped in the first 100 days since its announcement. [480.D4] [930.178] [1344.D4] (72,000 [734.254] [2605.98]) (74,000 [1397.D5])
  • Apple Computer names Kay Power as a research fellow of Apple. [343.41]
  • Apple Computer introduces the DuoDisk dual 5.25-inch floppy disk drive unit for the Apple II line. [218]
  • Apple Computer releases the AppleMouse II with MousePaint software and a peripheral card for the Apple IIe or Apple II Plus (or directly in the Apple IIc). [218]
  • Apple Computer releases the Apple Color Plotter, a 4-pen plotter. [218]
(month unknown)
  • Visicorp introduces the FlashCalc spreadsheet program for the Apple II, for US$99. [951.10]
  • Apple Computer releases ProDOS. [218]
  • Activision introduces the Ghostbusters game for the Apple II. Price is US$39.95. The game is based on the movie of the same name. [243.52] [1128.60]
  • ComputerLand agrees to stock Apple Macintosh computers at its stores. [930.184]
  • Digital Vision releases the Computer Eyes video capture system for the Apple II, selling for US$130 (US$350 with a camera). [218]
(month unknown)
  • Micro Computer Technology introduces the SpeeDemon card for the Apple II. The card makes the Apple II operate three times faster. [1209.14]
  • Apple Computer introduces the Macintosh 512K for US$3200. It uses an 8 MHz 68000 processor, and comes with 512 kB RAM, and a 400 kB 3.5-inch floppy drive. [46] [75] [582.90] [593.350] [597.94] [930.201]
  • Apple Computer gives LaserWriter printer prototypes to Lotus Development, Microsoft, and Aldus, in hopes of their developing application support for it. [618.256]
November 12
  • Lotus Development officially announces Jazz for the Macintosh 512K, a five-in-one application suite incorporating spreadsheet, database, graphics, word processing, and communications functions. [346.159] [1149.285] [1299.D5] [1357.D5
  • Apple Computer buys 3.4 million shares of Adobe Systems, amounting to fifteen percent of the company, for US$2.5 million. (Apple will sell the shares for US$82 million in July 1989.) [618.220] [1299.385] [2130.D1]
  • Apple Computer launches the "Test Drive a Macintosh" promotion. About 200,000 take a Macintosh home for a free 24-hour trial. The promotion is a failure, with few new sales. [46] [2605.155]
  • The 2 millionth Apple II computer is sold. [46] [75] [346.267]
(month unknown)
  • Percom Data introduces the PHD-10 10 MB external hard drive for the Apple IIe. Price is US$1100 plus US$80-120 for interface. [139.101]
  • Apple Computer sells the 250,000th Macintosh system. [346.267]
  • During the year, Apple Computer sells US$1.9 billion worth of computers. [9]
  • Shipments of Macintosh computers to date: 275,000. [1368.D8]


  • The first Macworld Expo trade show is held, in San Francisco, California. [1886.66]
  • Forethought releases FileMaker software for the Macintosh, for US$199. [582.198] [1886.66]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Word 1.0 for the Macintosh. Price is US$195. [346.138] [1128.46] (1984 November [346.267]) (late 1984 [1149.316])
  • Microsoft shows Steve Jobs the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for the first time. Jobs is not impressed, claiming that Lotus Development's Jazz would be more popular. [346.160] [1299.272a]
January 20
  • As part of the Macintosh Office advertisement campaign, Apple Computer runs a TV ad during the SuperBowl called Lemmings, showing blindfolded business executives walking off a cliff. [582.117] [725.47] [930.234] [2605.144]
January 23
  • Apple Computer introduces the Macintosh Office, with the first two products being the Appletalk network, and the LaserWriter laser printer. A US$50 kit will be available for connecting a Macintosh to the 230 kbps Appletalk network. The LaserWriter is priced at US$6995. [750.48] [140] [218] [1368.D1] [1886.66,69] [2605.145] (August [120])
  • Apple Computer officially renames the Lisa 2/10 computer as the Macintosh XL. Price is US$3995. [46] [75] [593.350] [930.264] [1368.D1] [2605.79]
January 24
  • Apple Computer settles a trademark-infringement lawsuit with Management and Computer Services over the use of the word "Mac" in Macintosh computer-related products. Apple agrees to pay an undisclosed sum. [1369.D7]
(month unknown)
  • Apple Computer introduces the AppleTalk network. It implements four layers of the Open Systems Interconnection in software, allowing inexpensive cabling and node connections. Data transfer rate is 230 bbps. [996.38]
February 6
  • Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak resigns from Apple Computer, to start a company that will develop home video products. [46] [75] [1377.35] [1399.D3] [2605.18]
  • Apple Computer ships the LCD flat panel display for the Apple IIc. Size is 11 3/8 x 5 3/8 x 1 1/2 inches; Price is US$599. [1146.86]
February 19
  • US President Ronald Reagan awards Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak jointly the National Medal of Technology for their achievements at Apple Computer. [930.324] [2605.31]
(month unknown)
  • Mimic Systems announces the Spartan, a hardware attachment for the Commodore 64 that adds an Apple IIe-compatible system to it. [343.16]
  • Apple Computer introduces the Apple Enhanced IIe. It uses a 65C02 processor, has an improved character generator ROM chip, and other improvements. Price is US$895. Price for an upgrade kit is US$70. [218] [1146.57]
April 11
  • At an Apple Computer board meeting, John Sculley asks Steve Jobs to step down as head of the Macintosh division. The other executives agree. [745.ix] [930.262] (April 10 [2605.156])
  • Apple Computer releases System 2.0 operating system for the Macintosh. [1559] [1648.54]
  • Apple Computer releases the Apple ImageWriter II printer. [1886.66] (September [218])
  • Apple Computer introduces the HD-20 hard drive. [1886.66]
  • Apple Computer introduces the Apple Personal Modem. [1886.66]
April 29
  • The Macintosh XL (formerly called Lisa) is dropped from Apple Computer's product line. [46] [120] [346.165] [930.264] [1377.35] [2605.80] (March [582.90])
(month unknown)
  • Data Input Group introduces the McBall for the Apple Macintosh. It is a trackball device, interchangeable with the Apple mouse. Price is US$89.95. [1128.76]
  • Batteries Included releases the PaperClip word processor for the Apple IIe/IIc computers. Price is US$59.95. [1128.77]
  • ExperTelligence introduces the ExperLisp compiled LISP programming language for the 512K Macintosh. Price is US$495. [1128.77]
  • Hayden Software releases the Sargon III chess program for the 128K Macintosh. Price is US$49.95. [1128.84]
  • Hayden Software releases the Ensemble integrated software for the Macintosh. It includes database, spreadsheet, and graphics capabilities. Price is US$299.95. [1128.84]
  • Haba Systems releases the Quartet integrated software for the Macintosh. It features spreadsheet, graphics, and database functions. The package was written by MBA Software. Price is US$199. [1128.85]
  • Sorcim releases the SuperCalc 3a integrated software for the Apple IIe and IIc. It includes spreadsheet, graphics and database functions. Price is US$195. [1128.85]
May 2
  • At the Pierre hotel in New York City, Microsoft introduces the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software for the Macintosh. [346.162,267] [492.61] [1149.285] [1299.278]
May 15
  • The last Macintosh XL rolls off the assembly line. [2605.80]
May 23
  • John Sculley, about to leave for a China trip, learns of his planned ouster by Steve Jobs, so cancels the trip. [2605.156]
May 24
  • An executive staff meeting is held at Apple Computer. John Sculley confronts Steve Jobs over rumors of a takeover while Sculley would be away in China. Jobs says Sculley should leave the company, but most of the senior staff support Sculley staying. [930.280] [2605.16]
May 27
  • Apple Computer ceases selling computers directly to corporations. [1377.35]
  • Lotus Development releases Lotus Jazz for the Macintosh, for US$595. [346.165] (August [582.200])
May 28
  • Apple Computer's board of directors decides to remove Steve Jobs as general manager of the Macintosh division. [180.206] [734.72] [930.289]
May 31
  • Apple Computer announces a restructuring of the company, eliminating the Macintosh and Apple II divisions, amalgamating them into manufacturing and marketing divisions. Steve Jobs is removed as a division manager. [1374.35] [1377.35] [1897.128] [2605.157]
(month unknown)
  • Steve Jobs sells four million shares of Apple Computer, netting about US$70.5 million. (If he had held them to the fall of 1987, they would have brought US$481 million.) [734.110]
June 14
  • Apple Computer announces 1200 job layoffs, one-fifth of the company. [930.299] [1377.35]
  • Mike Markkula backs John Sculley's decision to "banish" Steve Jobs from any official duties at Apple Computer. [618.200]
  • Apple Computer reports its first quarterly loss. [75]
  • Apple Computer introduces the UniDisk 5.25 single 5.25-inch floppy disk drive, with the ability to daisy-chain additional drives through it. [218]
June 25
  • Microsoft's Bill Gates suggests to Apple Computer's John Sculley that Apple Computer license Macintosh technology to a few significant developers. [763.25] [1299.288] [2605.240]
(month unknown)
  • Apple Computer starts the User Group Connection, to share Apple info with Mac user groups. [729.204]
  • Photonics Corporation begins developing Photolink, a wireless infrared LAN technology for the Apple Macintosh. [634.210]
  • Steve Wozniak returns to Apple Computer. [203.68]
  • Iomega introduces its Bernoulli storage cartridge system to the Macintosh market. [612.208]
  • MacroMind introduces the VideoWorks animation program for the Macintosh. [1095.178]
  • AppleLink network debuts, as an online service internal to Apple Computer, run by General Electric. [2605.147]
  • Aldus releases Aldus PageMaker software for the Apple Macintosh, for US$495. [120] [180.220] [237.60] [582.199] [1886.66] [2605.145] (late 1985 [582.94])
  • Microsoft and Apple Computer renew the original 1977 license for Applesoft BASIC, with Apple agreeing to kill MacBASIC. [1299.279] [2605.170]
(month unknown)
  • Jean-Louis Gassée cancels the Big Mac project at Apple Computer. [930.311]
September 6
  • Franklin Computer introduces the ACE 2000 series, compatible with Apple Computer systems. The three models range in price from US$700 to $1000. [1386.32]
September 12
  • At the Apple Computer annual board meeting, chairman Steve Jobs announces that he will start a new company, to build computers for the higher-education market. [930.312] [2605.157]
September 13
  • Steve Jobs informs John Sculley of five Apple employees would will resign to join him in his new company. They are Bud Tribble, Dan'l Lewin, George Crow, Rich Page, and Susan Barnes. [930.314]
  • The 500,000th Apple Macintosh computer is sold. [2605.98]
  • Apple Computer removes the Apple III from its product list. [2605.43]
  • Apple Computer introduces the UniDisk 3.5, a double-sided 3.5-inch disk drive, capable of storing 800 kB per disk. [218]
September 16
  • Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs resigns as chairman of Apple Computer. [16] [46] [75] [346.213] [346.268] [734.11,73] [930.319] [1205.34,39] [1886.66] (September 17 [1299.280] [2605.157])
September 23
  • Apple Computer files a lawsuit against Steve Jobs, claiming he secretly planned to form a company using several key Apple employees and technologies. [930.320] [1299.280] [2605.158]
September 30
  • Digital Research announces that it will modify its GEM operating system to avoid claims by Apple Computer of violating its copyrights. Digital Research will also pay Apple an undisclosed sum, and develop software for Apple computers. [1387.D4]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Excel software for the Macintosh 512K. [346.166,268] [1149.287] [1299.278]
  • Cauzin releases Cauzin SoftStrips, a form of barcode technology for publishing computer files in magazines, to be scanned into Macintosh computers. [582.202]
  • Apple Computer discontinues its 128K Mac. [75]
October 24
  • John Sculley agrees to allow some Macintosh technology in Microsoft's Windows in return for Bill Gates delaying release of Excel for Windows. [2605.171]
November 22
  • Apple Computer and Microsoft sign a licensing agreement permitting Microsoft royalty-free rights to use graphical display technology of the Macintosh for Windows 1.0, and Macintosh versions of several Microsoft products. [309.256] [346.192] [477.170] [1149.314] [1205.34] [1299.292] [2605.171] (1984 [38])
  • Apple Computer sales for the year: US$2 billion. [958.42]

End of 1984-1985. Next: 1986.
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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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