Commodore 64 and Apple: A Tale of Computer Giants in the 1980s

commodore 64 apple

Title: The Commodore 64 vs. Apple: A Battle of Computer Giants


In the world of personal computers during the 1980s, two giants emerged – the Commodore 64 and Apple. These iconic machines revolutionized the way people interacted with technology and left an indelible mark on computer history. In this article, we will explore the key features, strengths, and legacies of both the Commodore 64 and Apple computers.

The Commodore 64:

Released in August 1982, the Commodore 64 (C64) quickly became one of the best-selling home computers of all time. Priced at an affordable $595, it offered impressive hardware capabilities for its time. With a MOS Technology 6510 microprocessor running at 1 MHz, 64KB of RAM, and a built-in sound chip, it provided a powerful platform for gaming and programming enthusiasts.

The C64’s extensive software library boasted thousands of games and applications that captivated users worldwide. Its graphics capabilities were exceptional for its era, with vibrant colors and smooth scrolling. Additionally, its SID sound chip produced rich audio that enhanced gameplay experiences.

Apple Computers:

On the other side of the spectrum was Apple Computers, led by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Their flagship product during this period was the Apple II series. Although not as affordable as the C64, Apple’s reputation for quality craftsmanship attracted a loyal following.

The Apple II series featured a more sophisticated design compared to its competitors. It introduced color graphics early on and had expansion slots that allowed users to customize their machines according to their needs. The availability of productivity software like VisiCalc also made it popular among professionals.


While both computers had their strengths, they appealed to different audiences. The C64 primarily targeted gamers due to its impressive graphics and sound capabilities at an affordable price point. It became synonymous with gaming during the 1980s and cemented its place in popular culture.

On the other hand, Apple computers, including the Apple II series, catered more towards educational institutions and professionals. Their higher price tags were justified by their superior build quality, expandability, and a focus on productivity software.


The Commodore 64’s impact on gaming cannot be overstated. Its extensive library of games and its affordability made it accessible to a wide audience, helping to shape the gaming industry as we know it today. Many successful game developers got their start on the C64, which served as a launchpad for their careers.

Apple’s legacy lies in its influence on personal computing as a whole. The company’s commitment to user-friendly interfaces and intuitive design set new standards for the industry. The Apple II series laid the foundation for future Macintosh computers that would revolutionize graphic design, desktop publishing, and multimedia production.


The Commodore 64 and Apple computers were both instrumental in shaping the landscape of personal computing during the 1980s. While the C64 excelled in gaming with its affordability and impressive hardware capabilities, Apple’s focus on quality craftsmanship and productivity software attracted professionals and educational institutions.

These two giants left an indelible mark on computer history and continue to be celebrated by enthusiasts worldwide. Whether you were captivated by the mesmerizing graphics of a C64 game or inspired by an Apple computer’s sleek design, their legacies endure as testament to their impact on technology and society as a whole.


Frequently Asked Questions about Commodore 64 and Apple: Pricing, Origins, and Acquisitions

  1. How much is a Commodore 64 worth today?
  2. Was Commodore 64 made by Apple?
  3. What was the very first Apple computer?
  4. Did Apple buy Commodore?

How much is a Commodore 64 worth today?

The value of a Commodore 64 can vary depending on several factors, including its condition, rarity, included accessories, and demand in the market. As of now, a working Commodore 64 in good condition with all necessary components can range in price from around $50 to $200 USD.

However, it’s important to note that certain factors can significantly affect the value. Limited edition models or those with unique features may command higher prices among collectors. Additionally, if the Commodore 64 is still in its original packaging and has never been opened or used, it may be considered more valuable as a collector’s item.

To get an accurate estimate of a specific Commodore 64’s worth, it is recommended to check online marketplaces and auction sites to see recent sale prices for similar models. Ultimately, the true value of any item is determined by what someone is willing to pay for it.

Was Commodore 64 made by Apple?

No, the Commodore 64 was not made by Apple. The Commodore 64 was a product of Commodore International, a different company from Apple. While both companies were prominent players in the personal computer industry during the 1980s, they were separate entities with their own distinct products and technologies. The Commodore 64 was developed and manufactured by Commodore International, while Apple produced its own line of computers such as the Apple II series during that time.

What was the very first Apple computer?

The very first Apple computer was the Apple I, also known as the Apple-1. It was designed and built by Steve Wozniak in 1976. The Apple I was a single-board computer that consisted of a circuit board with microprocessor, memory, and basic input/output functions. It did not include a case, keyboard, or monitor.

The Apple I was initially sold as a DIY kit without a fully assembled motherboard. Users had to add their own power supply, keyboard, and display to make it functional. It featured a MOS Technology 6502 microprocessor running at 1 MHz, 4KB of RAM (expandable to 8KB or 48KB), and utilized cassette tapes for data storage.

Although the Apple I had limited commercial success due to its relatively high price and niche market appeal, it laid the foundation for the future success of Apple Computers. It showcased Steve Wozniak’s engineering genius and set the stage for the release of subsequent models like the highly successful Apple II series.

Did Apple buy Commodore?

No, Apple did not buy Commodore. Apple and Commodore were two separate companies that competed in the personal computer market during the 1980s. While both companies had a significant impact on the industry, they remained independent entities throughout their existence.