April 17, 1977: The Apple II debuts on the West Coast Laptop Faire, positioning Apple on the forefront of the looming private laptop revolution.
The corporate’s first mass-market laptop, the Apple II boasts an attractively machined case designed by Jerry Manock (who will later design the primary Macintosh). It additionally packs a keyboard, BASIC compatibility and, most significantly, color graphics.
Fueled by some advertising and marketing savvy from Steve Jobs, the Apple II launch makes fairly a splash on the San Francisco Bay Space’s first private laptop conference.
Apple II launch at West Coast Laptop Faire
After forming the earlier 12 months, Apple had already handed a number of vital milestones by April 1977. The corporate had seen one of its three co-founders quit, launched its first computer and officially incorporated.
Nonetheless, the 1977 West Coast Laptop Faire served as a large “popping out” celebration for Apple. This occasion featured all the large gamers within the burgeoning PC trade. Within the days earlier than the web, it drew hundreds of prospects — a lot of whom turned early tech devotees.
Apple confirmed off its new company emblem on the laptop honest for one of many first occasions. The multicolored design by Rob Janoff featured the define of an apple with a chunk taken out of it. The immediately iconic image changed an earlier Apple emblem by former Apple co-founder Ron Wayne.
Steve Jobs introduces the Apple II
Proper from the beginning of his profession, Jobs realized the significance of product introduction. With no particular media occasion to introduce the Apple II, he used the West Coast Laptop Faire to carry out the identical operate. (Apparently, the occasion happened on the Invoice Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, which Apple returned to for its fall media event in 2015.)
Apple occupied the 4 cubicles instantly dealing with the constructing’s entrance entrance. The strategic positioning made Apple the primary of 175 firms on the Faire that guests noticed after they arrived. At a time when cash was brief, Apple splashed out on a backlit plexiglass show that includes the brand new emblem.
The attention-catching setup showcased a dozen Apple II computer systems. Unbeknownst to prospects, these had been unfinished prototypes, because the precise computer systems wouldn’t be prepared till June.
A significant cash spinner
Apple’s second laptop turned an enormously vital product line. The 12 months of the Apple II debut, the machine introduced in $770,000 in income. That determine elevated to $7.9 million the next 12 months and a large $49 million the 12 months after that. Apple continued producing some model of the Apple II till the early Nineteen Nineties.
This laptop introduced various vital gamers into the world of excessive tech, together with Mitch Kapor (founding father of Lotus Improvement Company and co-founding father of the Digital Frontier Basis) and John Carmack (the legendary coder behind smash-hit video games Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake).
The Apple II additionally queued up Cupertino’s first “killer app” — spreadsheet program VisiCalc.
Whereas Apple later moved away from the Apple II product line (a lot to the annoyance of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak), this laptop put Cupertino on the map. And the Apple II launch on the West Coast Laptop Faire gave the world its first glimpse of the revolutionary machine.