Today in Apple history: Unauthorized Apple II clone sparks big legal battle

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The Franklin Ace 1200 was, in some ways, a literal copy of the Apple II.
The Franklin Ace 1200 was, in some ways, a literal copy of the Apple II.
Photo: Bugbookmuseum

January 18: Today in Apple history: Franklin's unauthorized Apple II clone, the Franklin Ace 1200, sparks legal battle January 18, 1983: Computer manufacturer Franklin Electronic Publishers takes the wraps off its Franklin Ace 1200 computer, an unauthorized Apple II clone that triggers an important legal battle.

Cupertino will soon target Franklin’s line of unlicensed Apple clones with a lawsuit. In the resulting trial, a U.S. court will decide whether a company can protect its operating system by copyright.

Today in Apple history: World’s first Apple killer goes on sale

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Radioshack_TRS80-IMG_7206
The TRS-80 was Apple's first big rival in the marketplace.
Photo: Rama & Musée Bolo/Wikipedia CC

Aug 3August 3, 1977: The first affordable, mass-market personal computer makes its debut… and, contrary to what you might think, it’s not the Apple II.

Although Tandy’s TRS-80 arrived the year after the Apple I and a few months after the Apple II, it proved to be the first “Apple killer” on the market: pre-dating later rivals like IBM as Apple’s first big tech industry opponent. And, for the longest time, it seemed to be on course to win…

Today in Apple history: Apple ships its first OS

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apple_ii
Remember the days of green text on black backgrounds?
Photo: Ste Smith/Matthew Pearce

July 20 July 20, 1978: Apple DOS makes its debut on the Apple II, giving Apple its first official operating system.

A command line interface with green text prompts on a black background, Apple DOS looks incredibly primitive next to today’s graphical user interfaces. Nonetheless, for Apple users this was the macOS Sierra of its day.