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Texas Instruments Home Computers (1979-1984)

Texas Instruments Home Computers (1979-1984)

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Texas Instruments

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In 1979, Texas Instruments released their entry into the personal computer market, the TI-99/4. The computer proved to be a market failure because of its high price of over $1000 and its uncomfortable chiclet calculator-style keyboard. The computer went on to sell only 20,000 units worldwide. 

HOW I GOT IT: I was searching eBay for the 4a, (which I already had), just to look, and saw a TI-99/4a box on a listing with a listing titled "TI-99/4a". I clicked in (just a random listing click - no particular reason I clicked in), and swiped to see the orange buttons (which means that it is a TI-99/4, the super rare model that goes for $600+). The listing was priced at $44.99, and I bought it for that price. If I had clicked into any other listing, I would have missed this incredible deal. Basically, the person selling it thought it was the cheaper model but it was actually the valuable model. 


A short two years later, Texas Instruments tried again and released the TI-99/4a in 1981. This computer had a lower price point of only $525, and had an updated keyboard for easier typing. Texas Instruments went on to sell over 2 million of these, and eventually the computer was discontinued in March 1984 after a long price war with Commodore Business Machines led the computer to be sold for only $49. 

Source: Estate Sale 

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