Rare Functioning Apple-1 Computer Headed to Auction in May
In 1976, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak designed and built the Apple I, or Apple-1, the company's first computer. Of the 175 sold, only 50 to 60 or so remain in existence, including just eight functioning ones, making the iconic machine a rare collector's item worth significantly more than its original $666.66 price.
On May 20, German auctioneer Breker told MacRumors it will be auctioning off one of those eight functioning Apple-1 computers, complete with the original manual and documentation, the receipt for the motherboard and cassette recorder, and even a record of telephone conversations with Steve Jobs and Wozniak.
Based on previous Apple-1 auctions over the years, this latest machine is likely to fetch several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Breker said it auctioned an Apple-1 in comparable original and working condition for $671,400 in May 2013, while a functioning Apple-1 sold for $374,500 at a Sotheby's action in New York in June 2012.
More recently, a functioning Apple-1 sold for a record $905,000 at a Bonhams auction in New York in October 2014, while another working machine went for $365,000 at a Christie's auction in New York two months later. CharityBuzz auctioned a unique "Celebration" model for $815,000 last year.
The Apple-1 was a motherboard kit only and is pictured here with the rare original "NTI" sign. Apple never offered an external housing for the computer, and the peripheral equipment, such as the power supply, keyboard, monitor, and cassette recorder, had to be obtained personally by the owner.