Functioning Apple 1 Sells for $375,000 at Sotheby's Auction

A functioning Apple 1 computer, one of the first 200 computers sold by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, sold for $374,500 including the 12% buyer's premium at a Sotheby's action in New York. The Apple 1 originally sold for $666.66. The BBC notes that only about 50 Apple 1's still exist and only a handful actually work.

Sotheby's said there was a battle between two parties for the item which also included the original manuals. A set of bids were executed by the auctioneer on behalf of an absentee collector, but a telephone bidder proved more persistent and eventually clinched the sale.

Apple 1

APPLE I COMPUTER

Operational Apple Computer I. An Apple I motherboard, labeledᅠon obverse AppleᅠComputer I, Palo Alto, CA. Copyright 1976. Includes circuit board with four rows A-D, and columns 1-18; MOS Technologies 6502 microprocessor, labeled MCS 6502 3776; video terminal; keyboard interface; 8K bytes RAM in 16-pin 4K memory chips; 4 power supplies including 3 capacitors; firmware in PROMS (A1, A2); low-profile sockets on all integrated circuits; breadboard; heatsink; expansion connector; cassette board connector. (15 1/8 x 9 in.; 385 x 234 mm)

Together with: Apple I Cassette Interface, labeled Apple I Cassette Interface Copyright 1976, partial "G" lettered in triangle on reverse, in black ink manuscript (4 x 2 in.; 102 x 50 mm). — Apple-I Operation Manual. Palo Alto: Apple Computer Company. 12 pp. in wrappers (11 x 8 1/2 in.; 280 x 214 mm), with 8 circuit diagrams, 2 on foldout printed verso and recto, one full page; with original Apple Computer Co. logo on upper wrapper; tear along fold, light staining on wrapper and bottom right corner. — Apple-I Cassette Interface Manual, Palo Alto: Apple Computer Company. Oblong 8 pp. bifolia (8 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.; 140 x 215 mm), with some staining to wrappers; original logo on upper wrapper, warranty onᅠlower wrapper —ᅠPreliminary Apple BASIC Users Manual. Palo Alto: Apple Computer Company, October 1976. 8ᅠstapled sheets (11ᅠx 8ᅠ1/2 in.;ᅠ280ᅠxᅠ214 mm), printedᅠversoᅠand recto, with first sheet onᅠblueᅠpaperᅠwith tear along stapleᅠandᅠmanuscript "Randy JᅠSuess."ᅠSomeᅠstaining toᅠfirstᅠandᅠlastᅠpage,ᅠwithᅠtearᅠonᅠlast page. — Double-sidedᅠadvertisement with illustration for Apple IᅠComputer and theᅠApple Cassette Interface,ᅠwith manuscriptᅠnote (11 xᅠ8ᅠ1/2 in.; 280 x 214 mm).

Early Apple memorabilia has been a hot ticket recently. Sotheby's sold Apple's founding corporate papers -- signed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne -- in December for nearly $1.6 million.

Top Rated Comments

WestonHarvey1 Avatar
133 months ago
Just...why?

Some people like to collect things. The first product hand-built by one of the founders of one of the most storied corporations in world history might be an interesting thing to collect.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
applesith Avatar
133 months ago
Might be easier to find one of those than the Retina MBP.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fixmymac Avatar
133 months ago
Old Stuff

I have a customer, who worked with Woz, during his time at HP. On my second visit to him we talked about older Macs. I waxed lyrical about my original Macintosh and he listened intently. He then told me that he had a collection of old Macs out in the garage that he would show me sometime. On my third visit, he duly obliged.

Neatly laid out on three shelves were 6 Apple II computers, 4 of which worked fine. He then pulled a fabric cover off the stuff on the bottom shelf to reveal three Apple I computers. I was assured that two of them were fully functional and that he also had complete paperwork and packaging for them. Was he not a very ill, wheelchair-bound man, i would have asked to see them running.

I was then shown an email conversation between him and Mr Wozniak. They had remained in touch with each other and Woz had promised that he would fix up his broken II's and I, if possible and would be sure to pack his soldering iron if he was ever visiting the country.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Stetrain Avatar
133 months ago
How do they expect anyone to take this seriously when the RAM is soldered straight to the logic board?!


;)
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
niuniu Avatar
133 months ago
There are a bunch of personality disorders that can fit your answer: Narcissism, borderline...

It is amazing paying that much money for a piece a plastic that does nothing not even regarding the history behind it.

I mean, imagine the person having that circuit board in a pedestal just to "show off". Imagine how much that person need for people approval that he/she needs to spend that amount of money. That is a personality disorder.

I mean, the Mona Lisa is a piece of art that is unique and extraordinary. This Apple One is not, it was replaced a few months later for another version that was better. But do not try to explain that to someone with that ego.

Worst pop-psy ever.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
133 months ago
Just...why?
Why?
Hey, more power to the buyer. But from my perspective, I ask why? Why pay that much for it and what could I do with it, aside from looking at it, pointing and saying "well, there it is."

Answer: Because what people choose to do with their money is, frankly, none of your business.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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