Bell & Howell Apple II+

The Bell & Howell Apple II+ is just like the standard Apple II+, save for the color of the case and some external audio/visual features (missing from this unit). Estimated production is 5,000 to 10,000 units.

Bell & Howell - Front

The B&H II+ was manufactured by Apple for Bell & Howell who sold them to the educational market. The Apples were listed on Bell & Howell's audio/visual pricelist, making it possible to bury the microcomputer purchase amongst A/V equipment, such as move projectors. The Apple II+ was not UL certified because you could open up the case and touch the innards as is was running. As a result, many schools would not buy them. The B&H Apple two required a screwdriver to open it up and B&H also spent the money to get UL certification.

Inside the case is an ordinary Apple II+ motherboard and a power supply, painted black.

Bell & Howell - Back

An anonymous contributor writes:

"You asked for more information on the Bell & Howell Apple II machines. We used to call them "black apples" and they were a bit of a sore point with apple dealers. A lot of computer stores, like the store in Dubuque Iowa where I worked, sold a lot of Apples to the local universities and schools. B&H competed directly in this market. The main reason Apple dealed through B&H was that B&H had a large support staff for all that AV equipment, and it did all its own repairs. Lord knows I was stretched thin enough, I serviced machines in a 3-state radius! B&H extended Apple's reach into school markets where it didn't have repair infrastructure. It was one of the big reasons why Apple was an early success in the education market.

"I remember going for service training at Apple's new plant in Texas, Houston I think. They called it "Apple Tejas." I took a tour of the plant floor, and a large percent (maybe 20 or 25%) of the machines on the burn-in racks were black apples. The B&H machines were manufactured in the same plants, on the same assembly lines as the regular Apple II units. The only difference was the case, the B&H units can be locked shut to prevent tampering."