Apple announces the Apple III
19th May 1980
On the 19th of May 1980, Apple announced the Apple III (styled as Apple ///) at the National Computer Conference in Anaheim, California. The first Apple III units shipped in late November 1980.
The Apple III contained a 2 MHz Synertek 8-bit 6502A processor, 128K of RAM, and a 4K ROM. It could run most Apple II programs through emulation, and came with a sophisticated new operating system. It was the first Apple to include a built-in 5.25" disk drive, and hi-res graphics built-in to the motherboard. It sold initially for between $4,340 and $7,800, depending on the configuration.
However, the Apple III had numerous problems -- Steve Wozniak said the early Apple III had "100 percent hardware failures". Apple had to replace 14,000 malfunctioning Apple IIIs, releasing a revised model with 256K RAM in 1981. In December 1983, Apple introduced a redesigned Apple III Plus. Sales were poor, and on 24th April 1984 the entire Apple III line was retired. Only 65,000 units were sold in total.