The Apple IIe was introduced in January 1983 as a replacement for the Apple II Plus. Apple intended the Apple III to eventually replace the Apple II Plus, but its failure in the marketplace prompted them to release an enhanced version of the II Plus, the Apple IIe.
The IIe became so popular that it supplanted the Apple III. The Apple III was quickly discontinued and the IIe would go on to receive many updates and stay in production for about ten years.
The IIe offered the same basic functionality of the II Plus, but it did so with fewer chips and was thus cheaper to manufacture. The Apple IIe uses the 1 MHz 6502A processor on an 8-bit data bus. Total RAM is 128K with 64K built into the motherboard and 64K included on the 80 Column Card.
The 80 Column Card also allows the Apple IIe to display 80 columns across the screen. Without it, the IIe can only display 40 columns. Apple originally sold the Apple IIe for around $1400. I purchased my Apple IIe system with disk drives, Apple Super Serial Card, and monochrome monitor for $80 in 2000.
I remember using an Apple IIe system with this same monitor and disk drives in grade school back in the mid-1980s. In those days, computer literacy classes usually consisted of instruction in Applesoft BASIC and DOS 3.3. Windowing operating systems were still very rare.
The Macintosh platform wasn’t able to catch up to the Apple II’s market share until the late 1980s. It would not be until the early 1990s that the Macintosh platform was able to best the Apple II in the education market. In the 1980s, many schools began purchasing the Macintosh for desktop publishing.
They were used by media departments to create school newspapers and yearbooks. However, the Apple II platform remained the dominant force in school computer literacy programs for most of the 1980s.
Computer science or computer programming classes in high school or junior high tended to be Applesoft BASIC courses using the Apple IIe and later the Apple IIgs.