A rare working Apple 1 computer has sold for a record $905,000 at a Bonhams auction in New York, reports Reuters. Estimates suggested the motherboard might fetch between $300,000 and $500,000, but it ended up selling for far more.
The motherboard is believed to be one of approximately 50 Apple 1 computers that were originally constructed by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in Steve Jobs' garage for sale in The Byte Shop. The motherboard is numbered "01-0070."
Few Apple 1 computers survive today, and the one sold at the New York auction has fetched the highest price seen yet. The buyer of the computer remains unknown. Each Apple 1 originally sold for $666.66, and approximately 200 total units were produced.
Last year, two working Apple 1 computers complete with their original cardboard box were sold by German auction house Breker. One of the machines sold for $330,000, while a second fully functional Apple 1 computer sold for $671,400 as it included a letter from Steve Jobs intended for its original owner.
Update: Reuters has updated its article to note that the winning bidder was the Henry Ford Museum.
Top Rated Comments
This is not the equivalent of an original IBM PC. Not even close. The original IBM PC is much more equivalent (in timeframe/production numbers/etc, not in computing power,) to an Apple IIe.
*VERY* few Apple 1s were made (less than 10,000 for certain; this is from the very first 'production' run of less than 500.) The original IBM PC was made by the hundreds of thousands, with tens of thousands in the very first production run. (And made in a factory, not in a garage.)
Nothing from IBM's computing history would come close to an Apple 1 in rarity or status.
There are plenty of original IBM PCs (model 5150) in service today. Mostly by collectors, but some in actual daily use as computers. I know a small company that still uses one to run their payroll. Because it does exactly what it needs to do, they don't see any reason to stop using it.
The HP-01 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP-01) calculator watch might be a close equivalent - a "first of its kind" product with low production numbers. Although much more common than an Apple 1, they do sell for a few thousand dollars when they pop up.
You spent money on a device you used to type that - when there are starving children around the world that your money could have fed.
What a disgusting display of conspicuous consumption.
People are free to spend their money on whatever they want. Many of the ultra-rich give a higher percentage of their income and wealth to charities than many of the middle class.
Apple stock was a better investment. Those of us that bought back when it was less than $5 a share made many times the return of buying and selling that Apple 1. :D