The Very First Apple Product: What It Was

Today, we’re taking a trip down memory lane to explore the very first product that kicked off Apple’s incredible journey: the Apple I.

In an era where personal computers were still a novel concept, Apple’s co-founders, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, took a leap of faith and created a device that would lay the foundation for one of the most influential tech companies in history.

The Birth of the Apple I

A Hobby Project Turned Revolutionary

  • In 1976, Steve Wozniak, a talented engineer and electronics whiz, built the Apple I as a hobby project
  • Wozniak’s friend, Steve Jobs, saw the potential in the device and convinced Wozniak to turn it into a commercial product
  • The Apple I was a bare-bones computer that came as a single printed circuit board, requiring users to provide their own keyboard, monitor, and power supply

Simplicity and Innovation

  • Despite its simplicity, the Apple I was innovative for its time, featuring a built-in keyboard interface and the ability to connect to a TV for display
  • It was powered by the MOS Technology 6502 microprocessor, which was cheaper and faster than other processors available at the time
  • The Apple I also included 4 KB of memory, which was expandable to 8 KB or 48 KB using expansion cards

The Launch and Reception

A Humble Start

  • Jobs and Wozniak initially sold the Apple I to friends and local computer enthusiasts
  • They produced around 200 units of the Apple I, selling them for $666.66 each (equivalent to about $3,000 today)
  • The first batch of 50 Apple I computers was sold to Paul Terrell’s Byte Shop in Mountain View, California

The Ripple Effect

  • Despite its limited sales, the Apple I garnered attention from tech enthusiasts and hobbyists
  • It demonstrated the potential for personal computers and inspired a generation of programmers and developers
  • The success of the Apple I provided the momentum and financial resources for Jobs and Wozniak to develop the Apple II, which would become a massive success and establish Apple as a serious player in the personal computer market

The Legacy of the Apple I

A Collector’s Dream

  • Today, the Apple I is a rare collector’s item, with only a few dozen units known to still exist
  • In 2014, a functioning Apple I sold at auction for a staggering $905,000, showcasing its historical significance and value

The Foundation of an Empire

  • The Apple I marked the beginning of Apple’s journey to becoming one of the most valuable and recognizable brands in the world
  • It set the stage for future innovations like the Apple II, Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, and iPad
  • The Apple I embodied the spirit of innovation, simplicity, and user-friendliness that would become the hallmarks of Apple’s products


The Apple I may have been a humble beginning, but it was a crucial step in shaping the future of personal computing and establishing Apple as a force to be reckoned with. From its humble garage origins to the sleek Macbooks and iPhones we know today, Apple has always pushed the boundaries of what’s possible.

So, the next time you’re using an Apple product, take a moment to appreciate the pioneering spirit and vision that started it all with the Apple I.

As Steve Jobs famously said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” The Apple I was a testament to that philosophy, paving the way for a tech revolution that continues to shape our world today.

Have you ever seen or used an Apple I? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!


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