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Cost of a computer every year since 1970 – 24/7 Wall St.

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Once extremely expensive and inaccessible, but for the very wealthy, computers today are one of the most ubiquitous technologies in the world. The most basic model of an HP 3000 sold for $ 95,000 in 1972, the equivalent of over $ 600,000 in today’s dollars, but not all personal computers released in the early 1970s cost as much. .

Today, a brand new computer costs only a few hundred dollars and has capabilities that in the late 1960s and 1970s – when movies like “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Alien” were the ones. biggest box office draws – were the realm of science fiction.

The development of the personal computer is considered to be one of the most important technological advancements / inventions of the last century. In the early 1970s, technology improved to the point that PCs no longer needed to be the size of a car to function. Not all personal computers released in the early 1970s cost as much as the HP 3000. In fact, many became available to the public during these years in both cost and size, providing consumers with a product that could fit in a small room and a typical budget. .

Over the years, a number of flagship devices to hit the market raised the bar for the next generation of PCs, helping the computer transition from a technical marvel to a commodity. These computers, which included the 1977 Apple II, the 1980s Commodore VIC-20, the 1981 IBM PC, were extremely popular at the time of their release. The Commodore 64, released in 1982, would eventually sell for around 20 million units to become the best-selling personal computer of all time.

24/7 Wall St. identified the price of a specific computer representative of each year between 1971 – the year the first personal computer was released – and 2018, using sources such as the Computer History Museum.

The first desktops of the late 1970s and 1980s provided a tiny fraction of the graphics, storage, and processing capabilities of devices we have today – and at many times the cost. For the time, however, these machines represented a huge improvement in the way people handled data, conducted their business, and interacted with the world. The 90s were also full of technological milestones, especially the widespread use of the Internet. Computers designed to be easy and accessible, like the iMac in 1998, have provided American families with a portal to the world. There have been bigger changes in the world of personal computing over the past 20 years. The number of devices available, especially mobile devices, has grown and the increasing quality of components has allowed manufacturers to make smaller, lighter devices capable of much more.

In 2005, laptops were first sold in the United States. Apple introduced the iPhone at Macworld 2007, marking the start of an era in which computing has become truly mobile. Other portable devices such as the iPad offered even more options. And for the first time in 2015, more tablets were sold than all laptops and desktops combined. These innovations have helped make Apple one of the most valuable brands in the world.

Click here to see the cost of a computer the year you were born
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