Steve Wozniak, who had previously designed the Apple I and had also designed the circuitry for Atari's Breakout arcade game, and wanted to make a computer that could run a version of Breakout in the BASIC programming language. So he designed the Apple II so it could work as a game computer, with colours, sound and support for paddles.
Apple improved on the Apple II over the years with newer models: Apple II Plus (1979), Apple IIe (1983), Apple IIc (1984 portable version) and the Apple IIGS (1986, the GS was 16-bit, but was 95% compatible with the Apple II 8-bit software). There was also an Apple III, a business computer based on the Apple II launched in 1980, but it failed miserably.
The Apple II was part of what BYTE Magazine dubbed the "1977 Trinity", alongside the Commodore PET and Tandy's TRS-80.
Origin | United States
Processor | MOS 6502
Developed by | Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs
Memory | 4KB RAM, max of 48K RAM on first model
Display Output | via RCA connector
Display Size (pixels) | 280 x 192
Colours | 16
Audio | Built-in speaker
Storage | Cassette, 5.25" Floppy Disk
Input | Built-in Keyboard. Support for paddles and analogue joysticks
Cost | $1,298 at launch
Additional Names | Apple ][, Apple //
Models | Apple II, Apple II Plus, Apple IIe, Apple IIc