The Commodore 64 took CES 1982 by storm, promising a system that was considerably more powerful than anything offered by the competition while costing only $595, a price that reportedly bewildered Atari employees at Commodore's show booth and was enabled by vertical integration. Commodore had recently bought MOS Technology's semiconductor fabs and each C64 only cost about $135 to make.
The original Commodore 64 sported a 1MHz CPU, 64KB of RAM, and its $595 price is the equivalent of around $1,550 today (as of 2019). Before the end of 1982, Commodore sold some 360,000 units and that figure nearly quadrupled to 1.3 million in 1983 -- roughly the same number of machines sold by IBM and Apple combined.
Sales remained well above a million C64s each year for a decade and depending on who you ask, as many as 30 million systems may have been pushed out of Commodore plants -- says Commodore Jack Tramiel -- though other estimates suggest the number is more like 12.5 million.
Want to take a trip down memory lane? The Internet Archive has launched a Commodore 64 emulator, complete with 10,500 programs. In theory, each piece of software (including several classic games) has been tested extensively and should work just as it did years ago.
Also the retro market has brought mini and eventually a full-sized version of the Commodore 64 is planned for release.