Early report of ‘secret new Apple computer’ from January 1984

(Note: First published in the Mercury News in January, 1984. Silicon Valley has republished the article as part of its look back to the historic launch of the Macintosh.)

“After two years of secrecy, brainstorming and sometimes zany company maneuvering, Apple Computer Inc. will unveil a new personal computer Jan. 24 that is the size of a stack of paper and, for about the same price, contains more power than the basic IBM PC,” Evelyn Richards wrote.

“Known as the Macintosh and considered by analysts to be critical the the future of the company, the machine already is winning rave reviews from the dealers, software developers and industry analysts for its compactness and ease of use,” Richards wrote. “The machine, which sources way will sell for $2,495, is designed to catch the fancy of the college students, small businessmen and the American consumer who wants to have ‘fun’ with a computer. It is priced between the less expensive Apple IIe and the more expensive Lisa.”

“According to former employees, industry analysts and dealers, Mac weighs just under 20 pounds and is 9.7 inches wide, 10.9 inches deep and 13.5 inches high,” Richards wrote. “When one takes the Mac home, said one market watcher, ‘It’s not a one-night stand. You fall in love with it.'”

Full article here.


  1. There are some classic quotes in that article…

    “Macintosh buyers will get a computer that operates unusually quickly and is directed by a mouse – a handheld device that, when slid across a table top, moves the cursor on the Mac’s screen.”

    Oh, is that what that thing does? It’ll never last. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. Actually $3500 with an imagewriter printer. As a long-time programmer (since the early sixties), it literally brought tears to my eyes. My wife said, “You don’t need another computer.” Then she saw it. “We need to get one of those!”

  3. I bought one in the summer of ’84.

    Still runs. I have it on a hard drive with system 6. And it was being used for word processing and such in my studio until 1996. It worked fine. I also had an 840 av and an 8500 as well.

    Right now I have about 14 running Macs in my house, but I keep my MacPlus (what it was upgraded to) in plain site.

    And the printer was about $400, and the modem about $400, and the external floppy disk drive was, I think $250.

    With all those things and the upgrades I probably spent between $6,000 to $7000 on it. And people think that the CUBE was expensive. HAH.

    (I own a CUBE too)

    Keep it up Apple!

    david vesey

  4. One more thing. I was making about $70,000 a year back then. So it wasn’t a big deal.

    But not for ‘the rest of us’. The darn thing was pricey. But so was a commodore 64, if you bought all the peripherals.


  5. The mac was competitive pricewise for a while. I recall ibm clones going for $3k in 1983, then dropping to 1k in 86/87.
    Apple didn’t chase price, and here we are today.

  6. Joe McConnel wrote..

    “The mac was competitive pricewise for a while. I recall ibm clones going for $3k in 1983, then dropping to 1k in 86/87.
    Apple didn’t chase price, and here we are today.”
    You are right, i remember my boss going for the top end IBM, and it $4,000-$5,000 if I recall.

    But I think ‘here we are today’ can also be laid at the feet of the fact that Stephen P. Jobs was missing from Apple for so long. I believe that if he would have stayed at Apple, that the number of insanely great products coming out of Apple would have given Apple a good reason for being pricier. Apple let the clones (the wintel world) get close enough to make the consumer believe that his Dell has the ‘look and feel’ of a Mac.

    But now, with Jobs at the helm, Apple is pulling FAR away from the Wintel world once again in product design, The killer OS X, and breakthrough products like the iPod, and software like Garage Band. Now if people want the look and feel, it only comes from one place.


    david vesey

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