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Working Apple 1 Computer Sells for Record Auction Price of $671,400

The New York Times reports that a working Apple 1 computer has sold at auction in Germany for a record $671,400, breaking the previous mark of $640,000 set last November at the same auction house. That November record has eclipsed an earlier record of $375,000 set less than six months earlier.

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The high prices paid for the machines seem to be explained by the combination of scarcity, a fascination with the early history of the computer age, and the mystique of Apple and its founders, Steven P. Jobs and Stephen G. Wozniak. And some irrational exuberance in the prices, for a machine that can do very little and originally sold for $666 (about $2,700 in current dollars).

“This really confirms the value of Apple-1’s,” Uwe Breker, the German auctioneer, said in an interview on Saturday.

The buyer, Mr. Breker said, was a wealthy entrepreneur from the Far East, who wishes to remain anonymous.

The Apple 1, one of only a handful working units remaining in existence, carries the signature of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and was originally owned by Major League Baseball player Fred Hatfield. The auction included a letter from Steve Jobs to Hatfield offering a trade-in deal on an Apple II board, an offer Hatfield declined for unknown reasons. The identity of the owner who put the item up for auction has not been disclosed.

Update: The New York Times now notes that the Fred Hatfield who was the original owner of the machine was not the former Major League Baseball player and instead was a New Orleans resident who sold the machine in non-working condition to a private buyer for $40,000 earlier this year. The buyer repaired the machine and flew to California to have it signed by Wozniak before placing it up for auction.

Top Rated Comments

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18 months ago

That's almost a $1 million. Pretty crazy. That computer could buy me a couple of nice cars! :D


I like your math. I'll give you $650 and you give me $1000 back. $650 is almost $1000...no?;):D
Rating: 29 Votes
18 months ago


...working Apple 1 computer[/url] has sold at auction in Germany for a record $671,400


It would have been $666,666 in keeping with tradition if the buyer hadn't let the auctioneer persuade him he needed the Monster RS232 cable...
Rating: 28 Votes
18 months ago

That's almost a $1 million. Pretty crazy. That computer could buy me a couple of nice cars! :D


not really
Rating: 21 Votes
18 months ago
That is more expensive than having a cup of coffee.
Rating: 17 Votes
18 months ago
The wrong people have money
Rating: 17 Votes
18 months ago

but can it play Minecraft?


No, but it can play Crysis.
Rating: 13 Votes
18 months ago
Apple computers are wayyy over-priced for the specs.
Rating: 11 Votes
18 months ago

That's almost a $1 million. Pretty crazy. That computer could buy me a couple of nice cars! :D


Nice math
Rating: 10 Votes
18 months ago

Macs have always been expensive, but this is ridiculous, that's it, I'm getting a linux PC! It doesn't even run Mountain Lion! :p


It's not a Mac.

It is an Apple computer. I'm not sure if it was ever really called an Apple 1 computer, just like the very first Macintosh is just called Macintosh and nothing else, the first iPod is called iPod and nothing else, the first Pentium processor was called Pentium and nothing else.


Had they bought this a few years ago, when Apple was on its way up, it would have been a good investment. But now? While Apple's cache is fading? Not so much.


Apple's cache is fading? What cache are you talking about? The cache in my MBP seems to be working just fine, not "fading" at all if you explain what it would mean for a cache to be "fading".
Rating: 9 Votes
18 months ago

Very few people with that kind of money actually "worked" for it. It's usually 90% luck.


Strange because my experience is when people make such statements , its usually 90% jealousy.
Rating: 9 Votes

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