An Apple item no one heard of

A long time ago, I came upon a very unique item. I think it was around 1987 or 1988. The item was a hard disk drive (HDD) made by Apple. They were prototypes and my friend, who since passed away, gave it to me as a present.

Not too many people know that Apple was planning on making their own hard disk drives. They made a few prototype and was actually planning to manufacturing themselves or have one of the existing companies make it. You can see the Apple logo on upper right hand of the drive shown below.

Then they abandoned it and started to purchase it from few of the vendors instead. My guess is that they found out how much is needed to put together a new disk drive manufacturing site. It wasn’t cheap then and it’s still not cheap now, specially if you want to build something that is not within industry standard form factor.

The drive is a bit larger than the 5.25” form factor, as you can see above. I put it next to a current 3.5” form factor as a comparison. The interface was the old Apple floppy interface. This was before SCSI or IDE took hold in the industry. This drive was meant to be used with Mac Plus or Mac SE, without SCSI interface. I believe the drive was 20MB, pretty small by today’s standard but huge in those days.

Apple made the wise decision not to get in to the market. The HDD were becoming a commodity item and would have been much too expensive to maintain. They HDD makers were trying to standardize on items like platter size so they can make them cheaper. It would have been Apple getting into FLASH memory business for iPods.

Interesting item from the past.

On March 2, 2009, posted in: Uncategorized by
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