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.

apple_1_breker_may13

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.

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Top Rated Comments

Shrink Avatar
144 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
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
theluggage Avatar
144 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...
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
melchior Avatar
144 months ago
That's almost a $1 million. Pretty crazy. That computer could buy me a couple of nice cars! :D

not really
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Gates Avatar
144 months ago
The wrong people have money
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BornAgainMac Avatar
144 months ago
That is more expensive than having a cup of coffee.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dr McKay Avatar
144 months ago
but can it play Minecraft?

No, but it can play Crysis.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)