The first 50,000 Apple IIGSs manufactured had a commemorative case lid marked “Limited Edition” with a reproduced copy of Steve Wozniak’s signature (“Woz”) above it.
Owners of the Limited Edition, after mailing in their Apple registration card, were mailed back a Certificate of Authenticity and a (copied) letter from Steve Wozniak.
Internal code names for the machine included: “Gumby”, “Rambo”, “Phoenix”, “Cortland” and “Apple IIx”.
John Carmack, founder of id Software, started his career by writing commercial software for the Apple IIGS. The same is true of John Romero and Tom Hall.
Wolfenstein 3D, based on the Apple II originated game Castle Wolfenstein, came full circle back to the Apple II series when it was released for the Apple IIGS in 1998.
Two mainstream video games, Zany Golf and The Immortal, originated as Apple IIGS-specific games that were later ported to several platforms due to their immense popularity.
Naughty Dog, the well known PlayStation game developer, started as an Apple IIGS game software company.
Pangea Software, one of the best-known and popular Macintosh game developers, started as an Apple IIGS game software company.
The Apple IIGS was the first computer produced by Apple Computer to use a color Graphical User Interface.
The Apple IIGS was the first computer at Apple to introduce the “Platinum” (light grey) color scheme.
The Apple IIGS was the first computer to use the Apple Desktop Bus interface for keyboards, mice and other input devices.
The machine outsold all other Apple products, including the Macintosh, during its first year in production.
A hidden easter egg (activated by Command-Option-Control-N) lists the development team on screen, and even a digitized “Apple II!” shout from them on the ROM 3.
There were rumors of several vastly enhanced prototypes built over the years at Apple but none were ever released. Only one, “The Mark Twain”, has been revealed so far.
VTech, makers of the Laser series, demonstrated a prototype of a more powerful Apple IIGS compatible in 1989. It was never released due to licensing issues with Apple.
A project called “Avatar” in the early 90s promised a 32-bit state of the art machine that was backwards compatible with the Apple IIGS. It was never finished or released. Some doubt that the project even got out of the conceptualization stage.
Cirtech started work on, but never completed, a black and white Macintosh hardware emulation plug-in card for the Apple IIGS dubbed “Duet”. Rumor has it that Apple bought the rights to the project in order to kill it, to avoid having Mac software running on a machine they were phasing out.
Between the late 80s to early 90s, the Apple IIGS developed its own demoscene very similar in vein to that of the Amiga and Atari ST, albeit much smaller and lesser known. The most popular demo group was called FTA (Free Tools Association) and was from France. Two of their demos (Nucleus and Modulae) were very popular and were used by Apple itself and by retailers to show off the computer.
During its introduction, Apple sold a specialized set of Bose Roommate speakers that were platinum colored with the Apple logo next to the Bose on each front speaker grille.
Sharing the same 65C816 processor as the Super Nintendo, many early programmers used the Apple IIGS as a Super Nintendo game development platform to write code on.
Bob Yannes, creator of the SID synthesizer chip used in the Commodore 64, went on to design the Ensoniq 5503 DOC synthesizer used in the Apple IIGS.