Introduced in April 1984, the IIc was Apple’s first compact model, the first with user-friendly icon graphics, and the first with significant visual design quality. It was cited as one of the best designs of the year by Time magazine.
Just three month before, Apple had introduced the Macintosh computer, the first to use a Graphical User Interface (GUI), running at 8 MHz, with 128 kB RAM, and was the first to use 400 kB 3.5” disks.
The Apple IIc was a refinement of the original Apple II computer, introduced in 1977 when the company was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wosniac. The Apple II was the first mass-produced personal computer, featuring Visicalc, the first spreadsheet program. It remained the best-selling computer until IBM entered the market in 1981.
The Apple IIc design included a much-refined mouse design engineered by consultants Hovey-Kelly, founded by Stanford University product design graduated Dean Hovey and David Kelley. Their firm later evolved into IDEO design firm, founded in 1991. The IIc had a speed of 1 MHz,128kB RAM (expandable to 1 MB, a 32 kB ROM, and a floppy drive storage of 140 kB.
Apple’s improved external appearance on both the IIc and Macintosh was a result of collaboration between frogdesign and Apple staff. Helmut Esslinger’s frogdesign firm was founded in Germany in 1969. The name came from FRG (the Federal Republic of Germany.) In 1982 Esslinger opened a branch office in California in response to Steve Jobs invitation to work on his NeXT workstation, introduced in 1988. Jobs left Apple in 1977 and founded NeXT in 1985.