First Apple Computer Goes Up For Auction, Expected to Fetch More Than £233,000

By Matt Novak on at

If you ever wanted to own a piece of Apple Computer history, now’s your chance. Provided you have a spare $300,000 (£233,000) lying around.

A fully functional Apple-1 computer, just one of 60 believed to still exist, is going up for auction next month. Just 200 were originally produced by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in 1976 and 77 — sold at the The Byte Shop computer store in Mountain View, California. The pair sold about 175 of them in total, but only 60 are believed to remain in circulation. The one that goes up for auction next month is special because it’s been restored to working order.

“This Apple-1 computer was restored to its original, operational state in June 2018 by Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen, and a video of it running and functioning is available upon request,” the auction website, RR Auction, claims.

“A comprehensive, technical condition report prepared by Cohen is available to qualified bidders; he evaluates the current condition of the unit as 8.5/10. The most remarkable aspect of this Apple-1 computer is that it is documented to be fully operational: the system was operated without fault for approximately eight hours in a comprehensive test,” according to the auction house.

As RR Auction notes, the complete set going up for sale includes everything from the original motherboard to the first manual:

  • original Apple-1 board
  • original Apple Cassette Interface (ACI)
  • original Apple-1 Operation 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 and connector
  • period cassette interface cables

Another thing that makes this particular Apple-1 unique is that there aren’t any modifications to the board. Early computer nerds were notorious for customising their computers. The fact that this one is untouched suggests that it might have been acquired by someone who wanted a fully functional computer without having to modify it — unheard of in the 1970s, but it’s the very thing that Apple would become most associated with in the 1980s.

Photo: RR Auction

Pre-bidding for the rare computer starts on September 13, 2018 and continues until the live auction, which will begin on September 25, 2018 at 1pm ET (6pm BST). As the Associated Press points out, the first Apple computer was sold for $666, or about $2,950 (about £2300) adjusted for inflation. But if you want to own this particular computer, you’re going to have to drop considerably more money. [RR Auction]

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