Apple III

The Apple III (styled as apple ///) is a business-oriented personal computer produced by Apple Computer and released in 1980. Running the Apple SOS operating system, it was intended as the successor to the Apple II series, but was largely considered a failure in the market. It was designed to provide key features business users wanted in a personal computer: a true typewriter-style upper/lowercase keyboard (the Apple II only supported uppercase) and an 80-column display.

Apple III
DeveloperApple Computer
Release dateNovember 1980; 42 years ago (1980-11)[1]
Introductory priceUS$4,340$7,800 (equivalent to $14,270 – $25,650 in 2021)[2]
DiscontinuedApril 1984 (1984-04)
Operating systemApple SOS
CPUSynertek 6502B @ 1.8 MHz
Memory128 KB of RAM, expandable to 512 KB
PredecessorApple II
SuccessorApple III Plus

Work on the Apple III started in late 1978 under the guidance of Dr. Wendell Sander. It had the internal code name of "Sara", named after Sander's daughter.[3] The system was announced on May 19, 1980 and released in late November that year.[1] Serious stability issues required a design overhaul and a recall of the first 14,000 machines produced. The Apple III was formally reintroduced on November 9, 1981.[1][4][better source needed]

Damage to the computer's reputation had already been done, however, and it failed to do well commercially. Development stopped, and the Apple III was discontinued on April 24, 1984. Its last successor, the III Plus, was dropped from the Apple product line in September 1985.[3]

An estimated 65,000–75,000 Apple III computers were sold.[4][3] The Apple III Plus brought this up to approximately 120,000.[3] Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak stated that the primary reason for the Apple III's failure was that the system was designed by Apple's marketing department, unlike Apple's previous engineering-driven projects.[5] The Apple III's failure led Apple to reevaluate its plan to phase out the Apple II, prompting the eventual continuation of development of the older machine. As a result, later Apple II models incorporated some hardware and software technologies of the Apple III.


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