Before everyone was down with Apple like they are today, Jobs and Woz (Wozniak) still had to prove to the world what they were made of. With this in mind they squeezed into an overcrowded auditorium for the West Coast Computer Faire in 1977.
The original Apple I did not make the necessary waves when it was first released. The company still needed a breakout product so they had to go back to the drawing board in 1976. This initial shortcoming did not discourage the dynamic duo, they slugged it out over the next year and delivered an amazing new product that shook up the computing world. That product was the Apple II in 1977.
After the conference, things looked a bit bleak. Their product barely got mentioned, and it did not seem to create much of a buzz; however, they started to get noticed where it counted, the average joe buying the darn thing.
When the product started shipping it found equal footing against the other two systems in the personal computing world, the Commodore PET 2001, and Radio Shack’s TRS-80. This meant that they had a fighter in the ring, and a champion had to be crowned.
The Apple II stood out from its competition due to the duo’s vision of what a computer should be and how the experience of a user and computer should feel. Just like in current Apple products, the Apple II made sure to have the features it needed, and especially where it counted. The Apple II had a more intuitive interface, came with color graphics right out of the box, and even included two game paddles. These features made room for the Apple II to compete not only in the personal computing market but also the game console market. It became an easy choice to choose this hybrid machine in order to have the best of both worlds.
Originally, working with computers required a very high skill set. You needed to know what computer components were and where they went, but the Apple II featured eight plug and play expansion slots. This was a huge development, it lowered the barrier of entry for people who wanted to get a computer and enter this new and exciting world. These expansion slots could be used to increase the memory, improve the graphical interface, sync up with printers, or load up the good old floppy drive.
Unsurprisingly the Apple II beat out its competition in another aspect, appearance. The shell of the computer had clean lines, a creative modular design which allowed for customized setups, and a sleek beige color. In comparison to the competition, the Apple II was a must have foxy mama while everything else lagged behind as awkward melvins.
The success of the Apple II was the success of Apple. Apple’s vision continued due to this duo’s hard work and dedication. As the company continued to grow in popularity and success, it paved the the way for innovation and intuitive design for years to come.