Apple’s original computer expected to fetch more than $300K at auction | Computing
If buying a modern Mac doesn’t quite appeal to you, you could also try bidding on a piece of Apple history with the Apple-1. A fully functional Apple-1 will be up for auction in September by Boston-based RR Auction.
Expected to fetch more than $300,000, the RR Auction Apple-1 is described to be a later production model in 8.5/10 condition, and the PC will be sold as a set that includes the original Apple-1 board, the original Apple Cassette Interface (ACI), the original operational manual, two original Apple Cassette Interface manuals, a period surplus ASCII keyboard, a period “open frame” Sanyo 4205 video monitor, a new period-style power supply with original Apple-1 power cable connector, and period cassette interface cables. RR Auction’s model was expertly restored by Corey Cohen and the system was comprehensively tested for eight hours without any issues.
Also known as the Apple Computer 1, the Apple-1 is a desktop that was designed by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. It was originally launched in 1976 as a bare-board designed for users to build their own PCs. To finance the production of the Apple-1, late Apple CEO Steve Jobs sold his VW Microbus and Wozniak sold his HP-65 calculator. The very first Apple-1 unit sold for $666.66, and Apple sold just 175 units.
Today, Apple has a market cap of more than $1 trillion, showing how far the company has grown. In addition to computers, Apple counts the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and the now-retired iPod, among its successes in the hardware space.
As a collector’s piece for PC enthusiasts, pricing varied widely for the Apple-1 at auction. At the low end, in 1999, the PC fetched just $50,000 at auction, according to Wikipedia, while a rare prototype sold for $815,0000 in a 2016 auction at the high end. Apple stopped production of the Apple-1 in 1977 when it launched the Apple II. To convince early adopters to upgrade, Apple offered trade-in discounts. When customers brought their Apple-1 units to trade in, Apple destroyed the boards, making the existence of functioning Apple-1 units very rare today, which explains why the expected auction price is so high. It’s estimated that only 60 units are left today.
Because the Apple-1 was created for enthusiasts, the RR Auction unit is notable in that it was not altered or modified in any way.
If the Apple-1’s price is too rich for your blood, you can also check out our Mac guide for a more modern PC experience.