Apple's first try at a portable computer

Apple IIc

Apple IIc

by Xinru Qian
April 30, 2020

Almost everyone or every family has at least one laptop today, which is the most common technology in our study, work, and relax. However, during the late 20th Century in America, computers gradually became more usual while laptop did not. In 1984, Apple Company had the first attempt to produce a portable computer, which is not the MacBook most of us are using right now. It was actually the Apple IIc, the fourth model in the Apple II series.

Though the Apple IIc is regarded as a try of a laptop, its market niche is still a desktop computer for personal for family use. To have both the attributes of a desktop computer and a portable computer, the Apple IIc has a small size with a built-in floppy disk drive, large storage about 10,000 compatible software, and high speed. 1 . As such a powerful computer, the Apple IIc could definitely serve a broader target.

Schools were one of the most important users. The Apple system is good for education such as the Basic program. Especially, under the help of Steve Jobs, the Apple company donated a lot of computers to schools. During the 1980s, around 70% of the school were using Apple IIe or IIc. 2 . Meanwhile, the Apple IIc worked for many experiments and research projects for the semi-professionals. As the Apple President John Sculley at that time said, “The IIc is not a home computer, it’s for serious user in the home.” 3 .

The “c” in the Apple IIc could be explained as “compact, convenient, complete, comprehensive.” 4 .All the explanations could represent the Apple IIc’s incredible functions and creative meanings.    

  1. Selby Bateman, “Evolutionary To The Core: The Apple IIc Heads For Home”, Compute!, Vol. 6, No. 7 (July 1984), 24,

  2. Bateman.

  3. Bateman.

  4. Bateman.