Jump to content
carlsson

When did Apple stop selling the Apple II as board only?

Recommended Posts

Perhaps a little known fact, but when Apple advertised the Apple II they offered it both fully assembled and as board only, later renamed single board computer for you to attach your own keyboard, make your own power supply and case for. Supposedly the board only model was available in configurations from 4K to 48K memory.

 

Elsewhere it has been discussed if this ever was possible to buy or just something they advertised for the sake of it. However when browsing Archive.org, I found price lists up until Augusti 1978 which has the SBC listed next to the fully assembled model. Back in June (?) 1977 the price difference was about $700 between board only and fully assembled, but by late 1978 it was down to perhaps $300. In the next price list on Archive.org, from February 1979 the SBC no longer is part of it.

 

So it raises the question: did Apple indeed sell those and in which quantities, and can we nail down the date when they finally left the DIY market more closely than between August 1978 and February 1979?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/11/2020 at 3:26 PM, carlsson said:

Perhaps a little known fact, but when Apple advertised the Apple II they offered it both fully assembled and as board only, later renamed single board computer for you to attach your own keyboard, make your own power supply and case for. Supposedly the board only model was available in configurations from 4K to 48K memory.

 

Elsewhere it has been discussed if this ever was possible to buy or just something they advertised for the sake of it. However when browsing Archive.org, I found price lists up until Augusti 1978 which has the SBC listed next to the fully assembled model. Back in June (?) 1977 the price difference was about $700 between board only and fully assembled, but by late 1978 it was down to perhaps $300. In the next price list on Archive.org, from February 1979 the SBC no longer is part of it.

 

So it raises the question: did Apple indeed sell those and in which quantities, and can we nail down the date when they finally left the DIY market more closely than between August 1978 and February 1979?

1995-6. You could technically order the mainboard for all Apple II systems up until they cut support for the entire line. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hm, that's interesting. Order it as a replacement part, or could a customer just order the mainboard all through the 80's though it probably wasn't widely advertised as being available? I suppose Apple may have favored selling complete computers, meaning any price cuts they made would have diminished the price margin between board only and entire computer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, carlsson said:

Hm, that's interesting. Order it as a replacement part, or could a customer just order the mainboard all through the 80's though it probably wasn't widely advertised as being available? I suppose Apple may have favored selling complete computers, meaning any price cuts they made would have diminished the price margin between board only and entire computer.

 

Same thing, really. You ordered the mainboard. Whether you used it to replace a board in an Apple case, or you nailed it to a block of wood, was u to you. I still have ][, ][+ and //e boards attached to raw backplanes. We used to do that to create testing units; e.g. to test chips, drives, and cards, or to prototype and proof new exp cards.  

Edited by GameGeezer
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool! I wouldn't have expected Apple to offer even //e boards loose to the customer, unless you had some special deal as a system builder? Then again I don't know about all other manufacturers, perhaps it was possible to order just the mainboard from those as well if you knew whom to ask and bypassed your local dealer who probably only had the finished product to sell.

 

But even if the boards could be bought separately, at least advertising it was an option for everyone seems to have ended some time between August 1978 and February 1979.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/8/2020 at 11:58 AM, carlsson said:

Cool! I wouldn't have expected Apple to offer even //e boards loose to the customer, unless you had some special deal as a system builder? Then again I don't know about all other manufacturers, perhaps it was possible to order just the mainboard from those as well if you knew whom to ask and bypassed your local dealer who probably only had the finished product to sell.

 

But even if the boards could be bought separately, at least advertising it was an option for everyone seems to have ended some time between August 1978 and February 1979.

 

Well, I did Apple Service, but as far as I am aware, anyone could ring them up and order the boards; just at a higher price. Note that the service part rice was still rather high in any case. SunRem was a good go-to for them at a reduced cost in the mid 90s. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just brought up this topic elsewhere, and it was pointed out that the CEO change from John Sculley to Michael Spindler in 1993 might have been when Apple changed their policy on ordering spare parts for non-customers, though possibly existing customers still could get spare parts for a few years longer into 1996.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that 1995-6 was about right. You could order almost any Apple part up tuntil then, if they still had stock. If not, SunRem usually did, as did another third-party company (I cannot recall their name, other than that I bought twelve SuperDrive cards from them in 1994-5). 

 

AppleCare options for the Apple II were discontinued in 1995-1997. I can't narrow it down more than that, but I recall that you could still buy AppleCare on //e systems in that period, and that Apple discontinued the option because the repair on a //e meant fabricating something like the MMU in very short runs, which was too costly for them. the Apple II series was one of the longest-supported computers of all time. 

 

The longest factory guarantees that I know about were from Nintendo (Japan), which were 20 years, or something like that. Apple was close, as they had around 15-18 years of support for all of their hardware, until Jobs returned. 

Edited by GameGeezer
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...