Apple III

Introduced: June 1980
Terminated: 1983


Designed specifically with business users in mind, the Apple III used an advanced operating system called the Sophisticated Operating System (SOS).  The Synertek 8-bit 6502A processor was capable of speeds up to 2 MHz.  The Apple III, also written as the Apple ///, had 128kb of RAM and 4kb of ROM.  It used a high resolution color display that was built-in with the motherboard.  It was the first Apple computer to contain a built-in 5.25” disk drive.


Apple’s first business offering sold very poorly and had a number of problems.  With a base price of $4,350, various configurations could raise the price up to $7,800.  Compared to other offerings for business clients, this price was much higher. It also had fewer compatible software programs even including Apple II programs that could be run through emulation.  There were technical problems based on the machine’s construction and at one point users experiencing certain problems were instructed in a technical bulletin to lift the computer up three inches and drop it in order to reset the chips. 


Apple III


CPU: SynerTek 6502A
CPU Speed: 2 MHz
FPU: none
Bus Speed: 2 MHz
Data Path: 8 bit
ROM: 4 kB
Onboard RAM: 128 kB (256 kB in revised and IIIplus)
Maximum RAM: 256 kB
Expansion Slots: 4 proprietary (compatible w/ Apple II)
Max Resolution: 80x24 text, 1 bit (B&W) 590x192
Floppy Drive: built-in Shugart 143 kB 5.25”
Serial: optional expansion card
Speaker: mono
Codename: Sara


After it was introduced in June of 1980, the Apple III had so many problems that it was replaced by a revised model in 1981.  Poor sales led to it being replaced by the Apple III+ in 1983.



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