Apple II

Definition of Apple II

The Apple II is a series of personal computers designed and produced by Apple Inc., with the first model, known as Apple ][, released in 1977. It was an innovative machine for its time, popularizing the use of color graphics, a range of peripherals, and easy expandability. The Apple II played a significant role in the early microcomputer industry, setting the stage for the modern computing era.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Apple II” is: /ˈæpəl tu/Here’s a breakdown of the pronunciation:Apple: /ˈæpəl/II: /tu/

Key Takeaways

  1. Apple II, introduced in 1977, was one of the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputers, making personal computing accessible to a wider audience.
  2. Designed by Steve Wozniak, the Apple II featured an innovative combination of technology and user-friendly design, including color graphics, a built-in keyboard, and expandability through peripheral devices.
  3. Apple II’s success significantly contributed to the growth of Apple as a company, and it played a crucial role in popularizing personal computers and transforming the overall computing industry.

Importance of Apple II

The Apple II, introduced in 1977, holds great significance in the history of technology as it was among the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputers, contributing to the personal computer revolution.

Designed by Steve Wozniak and launched by Apple Computer Inc., which was co-founded by Steve Jobs, the Apple II set a new benchmark with color graphics, built-in peripheral support, and a user-friendly system.

It opened up computing to a diverse consumer base ranging from households to small businesses and educational institutions, and its various models and versions had a profound impact on the development of software and hardware industries.

By making computing accessible and mainstream, the Apple II laid the foundation for Apple’s future success and firmly established the company as a driving force in the technology world.


The Apple II, launched in 1977, served as a catalyst in the personal computing revolution, giving individuals unprecedented access to powerful computing capabilities within the comfort of their own homes. Its purpose was to provide an affordable, user-friendly, and versatile computer that would cater to both a curious and professional clientele.

By offering a range of built-in software and expandable hardware options, the Apple II allowed users to perform a myriad of tasks such as word processing, spreadsheet management, education, gaming, and rudimentary programming. Its success enabled people worldwide to harness the power of computer technology and explore its potential in an era when computers were primarily a luxury granted to large businesses and institutions.

One of the key features of the Apple II was its open architecture, which encouraged third-party developers to create software and hardware add-ons that extended its functionality. This resulted in a thriving ecosystem of multimedia, productivity, and business applications, including the industry-defining VisiCalc spreadsheet program that solidified the Apple II’s role as a vital tool for small businesses and organizations.

In schools, the Apple II helped introduce computer literacy to students, utilizing its color graphics and sound capabilities to create engaging educational content. In essence, the Apple II was a seminal piece of technology that bridged the gap between complex mainframes and the ubiquitous personal computers we know today, fostering a versatile, accessible, and vibrant platform for computing innovation.

Examples of Apple II

Education: In the 1980s, the Apple II played a significant role in revolutionizing education by introducing computers to classrooms. The easy-to-use computer with its iconic green monochrome monitor became a staple in schools, teaching students basic computer programming using languages like LOGO and BASIC, as well as providing educational software like The Oregon Trail and Number Munchers.

Home Computing: The Apple II was one of the first successful mass-market home computers, becoming popular among hobbyists and families. Released in 1977, it provided a complete computing solution, including a built-in keyboard, graphics, sound, and support for peripherals like printers and floppy disk drives. Many households with an Apple II used it for various tasks, such as word processing, creating spreadsheets, managing budgets, and playing games.

Small Business: The Apple II also played a crucial role in small business computing during the late 1970s and 1980s. Apple’s VisiCalc, the first-ever spreadsheet software, allowed small business owners to perform complex calculations and financial forecasting with ease. The computer helped businesses maintain inventory records, manage finances, and create documents, leading to greater efficiency and enhanced productivity.

Apple II FAQ

What is the Apple II?

The Apple II, also known as the Apple ][, is an 8-bit home computer designed by Steve Wozniak and introduced by Apple Computer, Inc. in 1977. It was one of the first highly successful mass-produced personal computers and helped launch the PC revolution.

What are the key features of the Apple II?

Key features of the Apple II include its 8-bit MOS 6502 microprocessor, 4KB of RAM (expandable to 48KB), the ability to display high-resolution color graphics, and built-in BASIC programming language. It was also notable for its expandable architecture, allowing users to add various peripheral cards for additional functionality.

What were some popular software titles for the Apple II?

Some popular software titles for the Apple II include VisiCalc, the first widely-available spreadsheet program; The Oregon Trail, an educational adventure game; and various other productivity, educational, and gaming applications.

What models of the Apple II were produced?

Several models of the Apple II were produced during its lifetime, including the Apple II Plus, Apple IIe, Apple IIc, and Apple IIgs. Each iteration introduced enhancements in hardware capabilities, including increased memory, improved graphics, and more built-in features.

When was the Apple II discontinued?

The Apple II series was officially discontinued in 1993, with the Apple IIgs being the last model to be produced. However, the Apple II’s impact on the personal computer industry continues to be felt to this day, and its design principles can still be found in many modern devices.

Related Technology Terms

  • Wozniak and Jobs
  • 8-bit microprocessor
  • Floppy disk drive
  • Apple DOS
  • VisiCalc

Sources for More Information


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