Personal computer, 'Apple I', timber / plastic / metal / electronic components, designed by Steve Wozniak, made by Apple Computer, Palo Alto, California, United States of America, 1976
The Apple I was designed, manufactured and sold by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in the mid 1970s and launched the Apple Computer Company. The Apple I is rare with around 50 surviving examples in public and private collections worldwide surviving from a production run of approximately 200.
In an environment dominated by computer kits with cumbersome input and output devices the two Steves' Apple I represented a significant step towards a marketable personal computer. Steve Wozniak's design for the Apple I employs an elegant economy of component architecture to perform the tasks of processing, generating video output and refreshing memory simultaneously and was easily connected to a keyboard. These differences made the Apple I's usability vastly simpler and its cost dramatically lower. This combination of features made the Apple I a product of interest to a wider community of users. Many would view the Apple I as the first personal computer.
The story of the two Steves and the Apple Computer Company is a reiteration of the American Dream (that anyone can make it big). The combination of Wozniak, the engineering wiz and Jobs, the entrepreneur, visionary, showman and risk taker saw and realised a future for the personal computer in an industry dominated by large computer corporations and office machine manufacturers.
The two Steves were joined by venture capitalist Mark Markkula, a former marketing manager at Intel, who aided in the development of a business plan, helped them raise funds, investing heavily in the venture himself and identified early key recruits.
Campbell Bickerstaff, 2010
The Apple I was the first product designed, manufactured and sold by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in the mid 1970s. The production run was approximately 200 and around 50 Apple Is remain in public and private collections.
The Apple I was the first product designed, manufactured and sold by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in the mid 1970s.
This particular Apple one was originally owned by the local technology pioneer, Rudie Hoess. In the mid 1970s Rudie established the Computer land reseller franchise and introduced the Apple II to the Australian market where it was embraced by home users and the education sector.
Rudie gave the Apple I to Apple Computer Australia Pty. Ltd.
The Museum negotiated the long term loan of the Apple I from Apple Australia in May 1999 and the Apple went on display in the new permanent exhibition "Universal Machine: computers and connections" later that year. The loan of the Apple I was renewed annually until it was donated in 2010.