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Today in Apple history: Apple scrambles to fix doomed Apple III

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Apple III
The problems encountered by the Apple III sound strangely familiar.
Photo: Alker33/YouTube

April 15: Today in Apple history: Apple scrambles to fix doomed Apple III April 15, 1981: Apple CEO Mike Markkula defends the struggling Apple III with a surprisingly straightforward admission, even as the company pushes an unorthodox “fix” for the computer’s hardware problem.

“It would be dishonest for me to sit here and say that it’s perfect,” he tells The Wall Street Journal, after critics blast the Apple II’s doomed successor for its overheating motherboard. Apple’s official solution to the problem? Ask users to drop their Apple III from a height of 6 inches, thereby hopefully reseating the chips.

Today in Apple history: Too little, too late for Apple III

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Apple relaunched the ill-fated Apple III, hoping to fix the computer's big problems.
Apple relaunched its ill-fated Apple III, hoping to address its earlier problems.
Photo: Alker33/YouTube

December 1: Today in Apple history: Apple III relaunch December 1, 1981: After the disastrous rollout of the “next-gen” Apple III the previous year, Apple corrects the computer’s most glaring hardware faults and relaunches it.

Unfortunately, the damage has already been done. Apple experiences its first “flop” product with its would-be Apple II successor.

Today in Apple history: Apple introduces the doomed Apple III

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Apple III
The Apple III should have been a smash hit. It wasn't.
Photo: Alker33/YouTube

May 19: Today in Apple history: Apple introduces the doomed Apple III computer May 19, 1980: Apple introduces the Apple III at the National Computer Conference in Anaheim, California.

After two years of development, the Apple III arrives to follow the enormously successful Apple II. For a variety of reasons, it turns out to be the company’s first major misstep.

If you’d bought Apple stock instead of an Apple III, you’d be a millionaire

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Apple raked in the cash last quarter.
What we wouldn't give to travel back to 1980.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Want a spectacular stat for a Friday? Apple stock has increased 22,250 percent since its IPO almost 35 years ago.

And the accompanying depressing thought: If you had taken the money a new Apple computer cost at the time and instead spent it on AAPL stock during its 1980 public offering, you’d be sitting on a personal fortune of $965,650 today — just a few dollars away from being a freshly-minted millionaire.

Rare Apple III Plus still works (thanks to good karma)

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This Apple III Plus still works after spending the 1980s scheduling yoga classes at a spiritual retreat center.
This Apple III Plus still works after spending the 1980s scheduling yoga classes at a spiritual retreat center.
Photo: Yogaville/eBay

As far as computers go, the Apple III was a rather rotten Apple. The first 14,000 were recalled with hardware problems galore and even with bugs eventually worked out, Apple never could erase the computer’s “lemon” label.

But if you’re willing to give the Apple III a second chance, there is a working one for sale, complete with manuals, startup disks and, quite possibly, the good karma of a famous swami.

MMXIII – The Year in Vintage Apple Tech

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Vintage-Montage

In addition to all the new products of 2013, the past year was a whir of activity in the vintage Apple space. Apple may be content to only move forward and deny existence of any products older than seven years – what do you mean my first generation MacBook Pro is vintage??? – but the public has not forgotten them.

The biggest retro news of the year was probably the ascendancy of the Apple 1 on the auction block. In May, an Apple 1 fetched a record price of $671,000 at an auction in Germany – until just recently the highest price ever paid for a personal computer. Other Apple 1s sold this year in the $300,000 range, so if you are lucky enough to have one of these oldies-but-goodies in your attic, dig it out now!

See The Full Infinity Blade III Trailer From The Apple Keynote Yesterday [Video]

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Here there be dragons. And lens flare aplenty.
Here there be dragons. And lens flare aplenty.

Remember that amazing trailer that Apple introduced on stage yesterday to show of its new iPhone 5s? It was Infinity Blade III, what Epic Games’ Donald Mustard called, “The conclusion of the epic Infinity Blade trilogy.”

If anything, the trailer below shows off just how amazing mobile gaming can look like. Just like the last two entries in the franchise, Infinity Blade III is pushing the envelope on environment size as well as visual and gaming performance. Here’s the video to feast your eyes on.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs loses control of the Mac

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Mac 128k Beauty Shot
Steve Jobs was distraught at being removed as general manager of the Mac division.
Photo: iFixit

April 10: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs loses control of the Mac April 10, 1985: During a fateful meeting, Apple CEO John Sculley threatens to resign unless the company’s board of directors removes Steve Jobs as executive VP and general manager of the Macintosh division.

This triggers a series of events that will ultimately result in Jobs’ exit. The marathon board meeting — which continued for several hours the next day — results in Jobs losing his operating role within the company, but being allowed to stay on as chairman. Things don’t exactly play out like that.

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