The Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100 came out in 1983 and was a popular tool with writers.
Some journalists remember the day the future arrived: We felt like James Bond on special assignment when our editors, playing the part of provision master Q, handed us the portable device that would allow a story to be written in the field and transmitted back to the office.
So when Radio Shack said earlier this month it would file for bankruptcy, more than a few of us flashed back to the TRS-80 Model 100, one of the first notebook-style computers.
Released in 1983, it set portable computing in motion. The TRS-80’s liquid-crystal display showed eight lines of text. The computer came in 8K and 24K versions and weighed just over 3 pounds. A later version, the Model 200, boasted a flip-up screen that showed even more text, but the original model was by far Radio Shack’s most popular, with more than 6 million sold.
When Steve Jobs first debuted the original iPhone back in 2007, he promised the audience a device that was three major devices in one: “a widescreen iPod with touch controls,” a “revolutionary mobile phone,” and “a breakthrough Internet communicator.”
At the time, those three things seemed pretty impressive, but if anything, Steve Jobs the Showman was underselling himself. In fact, if you look at this 1991 circular from Radio Shack (which now does quite a bit of business selling the iPhone), Apple’s smartphone is pretty much fourteen devices in one.
Seemingly in response to word that three new small regional carriers were going to be offering the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S with a $50 discount, RadioShack has just announced that they’ll be matching the offer.
Starting immediately, if you buy an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S at RadioShack, you’ll get $50 off the normal price on all carriers. That means that the iPhone 4S will be priced at $149/$249/$349 and the iPhone 4 will be available for $49.
If you’re in the market for an iPhone, this is a pretty killer deal. Better act soon, though: the offer ends at the end of June.
Short on cash for the holidays? If you don’t mind shopping at Radio Shack and have an old iPhone to trade-in, you can get a killer deal on a new iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S this week.
How killer? Well, how does a free iPhone 4S with no money down sound to you? Pretty good? Well, guess what: play your cards right and you could not only get a free iPhone 4S, you’ll get Radio Shack to pay you a little money to take an iPhone 4S off their hands. You just need to combine the right offers.
Following its move to shun T-Mobile and begin selling Verizon devices instead, a screenshot from Radio Shack’s internal system reveals the retailer is set to begin selling the CDMA model of Apple’s iPhone, and its iPad 2, from September 15.
Sales deals on Apple products are precious occurrences, as spontaneous and rare as the collision of matter and antimatter localized entirely on the Grand Concourse Parkway in the Bronx. Sure, you can get a buck or two off at some of the big boxes; you may be able to weasel a fin out of Amazon, but ultimately, Apple’s MSRP is an immutable law.
So this is exciting: the iPhone 4’s first honest-to-goodness sale at a physical and reputable retailer. Effective as of Friday, if you sign up for an AT&T contract at one of Radio Shack’s stores (new or upgrade), you can get an iPhone for $50 off the retail price. That’s $249 for the 32GB iPhone 4 (usually $299), $149 for the 16GB iPhone 4 (usually $199) and $49 for the 8GB iPhone 3GS (usually $99).