[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Aplus 3000 Apple II Clone

August 25th, 2014 by Benj Edwards

Aplus 3000 Apple II clone advertisement - 1985Everything looks cheaper in black and white print.

The IBM PC wasn’t the only American microcomputer that got cloned in the 1980s. The Apple II also inspired its fair share of software-compatible copycats, such as the Aplus 3000 system seen here.

This appears to be a grey market VTech Laser 3000 computer with the name plate removed — possibly to avoid any trade import bans on Apple II clones that may have existed at the time.

Clones like this were popular in certain underground circles, and for good reason. Take a look at the price list in the ad. The Aplus 3000 retailed for US $499 (about $1,104 today when adjusted for inflation) verses $1745 for a bona fide Apple IIe (about $3,863 today). And on top of that, the Aplus 3000 contained integrated peripheral cards that would cost thousands of extra dollars if purchased separately for use in a real Apple IIe.

As I’ve mentioned before, peripheral integration was a great way to undercut official products. It happened quite a bit in the IBM PC universe.

[ From Compute! – November 1985, p.85]

Discussion Topic of the Week: If you could buy an unauthorized clone of an iPad or iPhone that ran iOS and had better specs for less price, would you do it?

See Also: Orange+Two Apple II Clone (RSOTW, 2010)
See Also: Apple II Box for C64 (RSOTW, 2013
See Also: How I Got My First Computer, and How I Got My First Computer Back

5 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Aplus 3000 Apple II Clone”

  1. Eagles409 Says:

    That’s a tough question, if it had features that the iPhone/iPad don’t offer, like a memory slot or USB port I might have to consider it. It would have to have the same build quality as an Apple product though. I picked up an Apple 2 clone at a garage sale years ago, it was a Franklin 1000. It was just never as good as the original.

  2. Dave Says:

    In a heartbeat. Better still, if I could get an iOS 7-compatible OS that looked like iOS 5 (or at least not a ghastly, garish, neon-pastel nightmare for the eyes like iOS 7 is)!

  3. Moondog Says:

    I recall seeing more Laser 128’s in high school than Apple II’s. I’m sure the integrated features made them an attractive purchase, plus they didn’t seem as delicate due to the price difference. The Apples were purchased several years earlier

    As Eagles409 stated, I’d consider a clone pad or phone if it had usb or an SD card slot.

  4. SirFatty Says:

    I lived down the street from Computer Direct, they were a large seller of C-64 gear as well. It was a magical place back in the mid 80’s.

  5. Daniel Says:

    Absolutely. Albeit, Apple is known for their build quality but if another manufacturer could build an iPhone or iPad clone with more features and reduced price with a decent build quality then why not?

    Remember that the first IBM PCs were built like tanks then the clones came out (Tandy, Compaq, DELL) which were decent quality and offered faster speeds and more options and soon the clones took over. The same could happen with the iPhone and iPad except that Apple is more of a brand/lifestyle/image sorta like Bose in the stereo equipment world.

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