“The Apple III was meant to be Apple’s bold entry into the business market; it ended as Apple’s first commercial failure and put the company into financial uncertainty. It was also responsible for sprouting both the Lisa and Macintosh projects, efforts that would save Apple.”
Apple III Chaos
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2006-09-01 10:49 pmhenrikmk
I read was that Apple never advertised the Apple II, which was their big(gest) success
I think also it was because it was not a business machine, but one you could mess with yourself that made it popular. There were tons of programs available for it, because the architecture was so open. As soon as Apple went away from this philosophy, they didn’t have a machine after that, which was as popular and long lived among users.
2006-09-02 6:50 pmHeadrush
I think it is more that the Apple II line was mainly home oriented and when they released the Lisa/Mac lines, they figured this was a business line and priced it as such. $10000 for decent loaded machine and $5000 for the Laserwriter. It was a killer setup above anything else at the time, but not priced to gain the home market share, and we know what happened after that.
2006-09-02 7:25 amSaad
Here are some Apple II advertisements:
Quite a few of them were actually full color, and expressly targeted consumers.
The Apple II got traction because it was fairly inexpensive ($2495) and didn’t require an engineer to use it. VisiCalc fit into 48KB nicely and had trouble filling 64 KB.
The Apple III had lots of RAM, up to 256 KB, by way of a hardware hack and the operating system was constantly banking RAM. It was more sophisicated than AppleDOS 3.x for certain but it had to be. Yes, it had a monolithic kernel but working from diskettes, swap time would have been glacial and the idea of having a modular operating system was an exercise in insanity.
The 6502 was a good processor but it was overwhelmed by all that it had to do. A Western Design Center 65816 would have helped tremendously. It had the address lines to access 16 MB of RAM and ran at 4 MHz. Obviously, it later extended the original line of computers.
Since Digital Research brought about CP/M and business applications started to flourish on computers that had no gaming capabilities, Apple lost more and more ground in the business world.
Apple against the world–sound familiar?
2006-09-02 7:22 amSaad
Apple beat out the less expensive CP/M based machines in the seventies (Kaypro, Osbourne) and the eighties (Atari ST, Amstrads) In fact, the Apple II’s software library quickly dwarfed CP/M’s. Apple didn’t lose the business market because of CP/M.
My roommate had one. It actually identified itself as an Apple /// on the screen. It wasn’t a neutered/handicapped Apple II but a super Apple ][. That is what handicapped it as a business computer, though, because it required it to use the same 6502 processor as the ][ instead of something more appropriate for a business machine at the time. My roommate always used it in Apple ][ mode. I don’t know if he even had any /// software.
When I was a kid I had a friend who’s father bought one. I always thought it was funny that we had to load in the emulator program in the floppy drive first before Apple II software could be used. The emulator was buggy and programs would crash often. The whole thing was a mess.
While reading this article, I could not help but be struck by what a different world this is today than it was back then.
Back in those days, Apple had a nitch market, and was selling relatively expensive proprietary machines with a reputation for problems due to excessive heat.
But just look at them today!
2006-09-03 12:14 pmBringbackanonposting
“Back in those days, Apple had a nitch market, and was selling relatively expensive proprietary machines with a reputation for problems due to excessive heat. But just look at them today!”
Haha! Yes, lets!
Niche – Technology/Market No, Niche handicapped Users Yes.
Expensive proprietary machines – Yes
Reputation for problems due to excessive heat – Yes. Think Cube and Macbooks
What I heard was that the Apple III was essentially a neutered/handicapped Apple II; that is a regular Apple II, but with features disabled that wouldn’t be used in buisnesses like the sound etc.
Obviously this article contradicts that somewhat.
One other story I read was that Apple never advertised the Apple II, which was their big(gest) success, but they spent a lot advertising the Apple III, including double-page ads in Time magazine.