December 1, 1981: on this day, after the disastrous launch of the “next generation” Apple III the previous year, the company corrects the most obvious absurdities in the hardware plan and re-releases the model. But unfortunately, the damage has already been done.
Although sales of the Apple II were successful, Apple sought to create an updated version to replace it. The Macintosh project was in its early stages and not yet ready to launch, so it was decided that the Apple III would be the updated computer Apple needed.
Steve Jobs positioned the Apple III as a computer for serious business users to compete with IBM. This led to the team involved in its development generating too many ideas and the project, which Apple wanted to complete in 10 months, dragged on for two years.
Apple III Specifications: What’s Inside Matters
In terms of specifications, the original Apple III had a 2-MHz SynerTek 6502A processor, a whopping 2 KB of ROM, 128 KB of RAM (upgraded to 256 KB), and four peripheral slots.
It ran twice as fast as the Apple II, but supported a limited range of software, lacked compatibility with DOS 3.2 and 3.3, and the motherboard constantly overheated, causing chips to fail. Combined with other problems, the Apple III received the worst user reviews.
New, slightly improved Apple III
The updated Apple III contained improved specifications and new software. Apple also introduced the ProFile 5Meg external hard drive. Approximately 2,000 customers received new devices free of charge as a replacement for the old problematic model.
The Apple III later received another update (Apple III Plus) before the company discontinued it. The Apple III and Apple Lisa were Cupertino’s two attempts to enter the business environment, and the two biggest failures the company had during this time.