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Apple Extended Keyboard II variants: M0312 vs M3501

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Just thought I'd write with some info I spotted.

According to Wikipedia, the Extended Keyboard II comes in two variants: M0312 with Alps key switches, and M3501 with Mitsumi. [Update: that is not always true! At least some M3501 keyboards have Alps key switches. Read my posting below for more details.]

Take a look at the picture of the labels in ashort's posting about the Extended II. The main label says "Family Number: M3501" and specifies the FCC ID as BCGM3501. However, the serial number on the other label ends in M0312. (Year on main label is 1990.)

Also, see this page on There is a label with the M0312 code on the box. The serial number label is not shown, but the year 1995 is mentioned on the main label.


[*]Does anyone know what the story is behind the two different versions? Was it possible to order a specific one from Apple? Based on the years given on the labels, it wasn't simply "all keyboards before year 19xx are M0312" etc.

[*]Has anyone used both types? How do the feels compare?

[*]Without packaging, the only way to tell what type the keyboard is, is by reading the serial number label. Many/most eBay sellers would just quote the M3501 family/model number (if at all). So if you're looking for an M0312 version, bear that in mind.[/LIST]
I have a couple of Extended Keyboard IIs, one British, the other International(?) English. Their serial numbers end in M3501B and M3501Z respectively. Both those have the ISO keyboard layout (different shaped return key, symbols instead of text on shift, home, end, etc.), as opposed to the ANSI layout used by US Keyboards. The label year on my M3501B is 1989, M3501Z is 1995.

Hope that helps someone!

Mine ends in M0312. I only have one board though, so I can't tell you what the difference is.

There's one on ebay UK at the moment, according to the seller it's a "1989 Made-in- Ireland AEK II (f# M3501)(s# AL4014SSM3501B)."

the M0312 has Alps keyswitches. The M3501 has Mitsumi. The M0312 is much harder to find than the M3501. i know because I'm trying to find and obtain an M0312 with US English keymap, and it is nigh impossible. If ANYONE can point me to someone selling an M0312 for under $50, PLEASE let me know too. The M0312 is more desirable than the M3501 as it is probably compatible with aftermarket Alps-native replacement keycaps (I _think_ that's the case but i COULD be COMPLETELY wrong about that). Either way, I prefer the feel and sound of Alps keyswitches over Mitsumi. If noise is an issue than the Mitsumi-keyswitch equipped M3501 would be more to your preferences, however.

JayDoubleM, do you use your Apple Extended II very much? I might be interested in buying it from you but I'd need to know a few details. PM me?

The shape of the switches looks identical to me (from photos I've seen). I don't know for sure that the key caps would be compatible between models (and the Extended 1), but I am guessing they would be.

I will know in a few days. I have 2 Extended 1's, and have an M3501 Extended 2 coming in on Monday. I wanted to find something quieter for home, so this should do the trick.

Good luck with your search.


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