Erasing the Apple II

Filed under Mainstream coverage, Steve Wozniak;

We all know the history of Apple Computer Inc. (now Apple Inc.), and how its first products were the Apple-1 and Apple II, designed primarily by Steve Wozniak. The Apple II was the company’s cash cow up to and well after the launch of the Macintosh in 1984, as has been documented in interviews with John Sculley and represented in films such as Steve Jobs.

While Woz laid the foundation for Apple, it was Steve Jobs who built upon it; now, so many generations of products removed from the Apple II, it’s easier to think of Apple as Jobs’ company more than Woz’s. And apparently, that perception is not only just fine by Apple — the company is actively encouraging it. Starting with the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 8, 2015, all Apple press releases close with this tagline:

"Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984."

That’s a true statement, and from a marketing perspective, it’s sensible to reference a product that’s still on the market. But it also starts in the middle of the story, ignoring the genius of "the other Steve" and the products that launched an enterprise.

It’s not news that Apple abandoned the Apple II — in fact, the last Apple press release to mention the Apple II at all was June 22, 2010. But for this new tagline to eliminate seven years of its history from press releases seems deceptive. Should Apple take a step back and publicly acknowledge its heritage?

(Hat tips to Sam Varghese and Darrick Deel)

  1. Mark Mathosian says:

    Many of us remember the Apple lle and llc with fond memories. The fact is, back in the 1980,s most of us couldn’t afford a Mac, even if we wanted one. The Apple ll line of computers were the first home and educational computers, not the Mac. We had a huge selection of software for the apple ll series and many elementary, junior high and high schools used Apple lls with fun educational software programs. Apple, the company should never forget its roots, or its founder, Steve Wozniak. Woz gave birth to the Apple technology that exists today. Steve carried on Apple’s tradition of innovation. Bottom line, the new tag line should be corrected.

  2. Jonathan Badger says:

    It reminds me of one of the dioramas in Epcot’s Spaceship Earth. It supposedly shows the development of the personal computer in the 1970s by showing a scruffy dark-haired man (presumably meant to be one of the Steves) working on a computer prototype in a garage. But the computer in question resembles the original Macintosh, not the early Apples that were actually created in a garage.

  3. You mean this one?

  4. Jonathan Badger says: