The TRS-80 availability was announced at a press conference held in New-York city on August 3, 1977. Deliveries started two weeks later. Two versions were initially sold: the keyboard/computer alone for $399 or the full version with display and cassette storage unit for $599. The system featured a 4 KB Level 1 Basic and 4 KB of RAM.
Radio Shack managers were very cautious about the most expensive item they never sold. They planed to sell about 600 to 1000 systems in the first year... but they received more than 10,000 orders in the first month!
The systems have been manufactured in Fort Worth and Austin factories. As several bugs weren't solved when the first machines were delivered, the TRS-80 was nicknamed "Trash 80".
Despite these birth problems, the TRS-80 became instantly a great success thanks to the Radio Shack strong distribution channel and to the 56 service centers.
Steve Leininger and Don French, the inventors of the TRS-80 quickly replaced the poor Level I Basic (that didn't allowed to save a program on tape!) with a 12 KB level 2 version. They also released memory extensions, an expansion interface and a floppy disc unit... Actually, every Level 1/4K owners upgraded their system to a Level 2/16K+ version.
The Model 1 became the ancestor of a large family of TRS computers. It was discontinued in 1981 because it never met the American FCC's Radio Frequency Interference rules.