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Apple relaunched the ill-fated Apple III, hoping to fix the computer's big problems.

Today in Apple history: Too little, too late for Apple III

Today in Apple historical past: Too little, too late for Apple III

December 1: Today in Apple history: Apple III relaunchDecember 1, 1981: After the disastrous rollout of the “next-gen” Apple III the former 12 months, Apple corrects the pc’s maximum evident faults and relaunches it.

Unfortunately, the wear has already been finished. Apple studies its first “flop” product with its would-be Apple II successor.

Apple III: Everything to everybody

The Apple III will have to were good. Unlike the Apple-1 and Apple II, which have been necessarily homebrew tasks, the Apple III had the whole weight of Apple the company at the back of it.

The Apple III in all its glory
The Apple III in all its glory.
Photo: Apple

Although gross sales of the Apple II confirmed no indicators of slowing down, Apple inevitably wanted an up to date pc to exchange it.

The early levels of the Macintosh challenge had been already underway, even though it used to be transparent the Mac used to be nowhere close to in a position to head. All eyes had been subsequently at the Apple III to turn into the pc Apple wanted.

At the beginning of the challenge, Steve Jobs — keen to participate in any effort with the possible to turn into the following large factor — published up a sequence of shiny posters for workers, studying: “THE DECISIONS YOU’RE MAKING NOW HELPED SHIP 50,000 APPLE IIIs IN 1980.”

Apple situated the Apple III as a trade pc. The corporate knew IBM would draw in trade customers with its private pc. Apple subsequently threw the whole thing on the wall to create a pc that might enlarge Cupertino’s target market to critical trade customers and residential shoppers alike.

Unfortunately, this resulted in a pc constructed via committee, with everybody concerned selling their very own concepts about essential options. This characteristic creep intended that a challenge Apple sought after completed in 10 months stretched to 2 years.

“Everybody had certain ideas about what the Apple III should do and unfortunately all of them were included,” quipped an Apple engineer on the time.

Apple III specifications: It’s what’s within that counts

In phrases of spec, the unique Apple III boasted a 2-MHz SynerTek 6502A processor, a whopping 2KB of ROM and 128KB on-board RAM (256KB in the revised type introduced on this present day in 1981), and 4 slots for peripherals.

It ran two times as speedy because the Apple II. It used to be additionally Apple’s first pc to come back with a built-in five.25-inch floppy force.

Given the Apple III’s much-publicized issues, it’s ironic that it ran an running device known as Apple SOS. According to Apple, this stood for Sophisticated Operating System. It wound up influencing the design of ProDOS, used on later Apple II computer systems.

Unfortunately, the Apple III didn’t turn into a good fortune when it introduced in fall 1980. It supported a restricted vary of device as it wasn’t backward-compatible with DOS three.2 and three.three, which Apple II device tended to make use of. More severely, its  motherboard overheated, inflicting its chips to loosen.

Combined with different faults, this earned the Apple III deficient consumer evaluations. It floundered in .

The new, rather progressed Apple III

The Apple III revised version, which these days’s “Today in Apple history” commemorates, used to be introduced in December 1981. It integrated upgraded specifications and new device. Apple additionally offered a ProFile 5Meg exterior exhausting force, even though the relaunch didn’t obtain a lot exposure from Apple’s PR company.

Existing Apple III consumers more than likely felt “happiest” in regards to the revised version. Some 2,000 of them were given a brand new gadget as a unfastened improve as a result of issues encountered with the sooner type.

Ultimately, the Apple III were given yet one more improve (the later Apple III Plus) ahead of Apple ditched it altogether. The Apple III and the Apple Lisa had been Cupertino’s two concerted makes an attempt to get into companies — and the 2 greatest disasters the corporate suffered all through this period.

Would it have succeeded had the IBM PC now not arrived on the similar time with a cheaper price level? Perhaps, however the Apple III had numerous issues that might have made good fortune a problem both manner.

Do you take note the Apple III? Leave your feedback under.

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