Rare Apple-1 Computer Sells at German Auction for $130,000

by

A rare working Apple-1 computer that was built in Steve Jobs' garage has been sold at auction in Germany for over $130,000 (via news24).

The highly sought-after vintage computer auctioned off in Cologne on Saturday was one of just 200 that the late Apple co-founder and Steve Wozniak designed and marketed in 1976.

apple 1 breker 2017
The owner John Dryden, a Californian software engineer, admitted that finally parting with the machine was difficult. "(The Apple 1) was one of the first opportunities for someone to possess a real computer," he said. "I'd been working with computers for a while but they were huge."

The Apple-1 was sold with the original receipt for the motherboard and cassette recorder, an operating manual, and even notes of telephone conversations between Dryden and Wozniak from 1977. Apple never offered an external housing for the computer, while the power supply, keyboard, monitor, and cassette recorder had to be obtained separately by the owner.

This machine was actually expected to fetch significantly more than it did this weekend, after an Apple-1 sold for a record $905,000 at a Bonhams auction in New York in October 2014. More recently, a unique "celebration" model went for $815,000 at a CharityBuzz auction in August of last year.


Breker's auction house, which hosted the sale and specializes in technical antiques, put the lower price down to a settling of Apple "hype", now coming over five years after the death of Steve Jobs. The winning bidder was a German engineer who collects old computers.

The 8K machine, which originally sold for $666 over 40 years ago, is one of just eight still in working order. There are thought to be only around 50 to 60 Apple-1 computers still in existence.

Tag: Apple-1

Top Rated Comments

keysofanxiety Avatar
48 months ago
Ugh, wish Apple would bring back true upgradability on their products again.

It's not a Pro product unless you can solder your own capacitors onto it. This wouldn't be happening if Woz was still here.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarlJ Avatar
48 months ago

It's not a Pro product unless you can solder your own capacitors onto it. This wouldn't be happening if Woz was still here.

Pretty on point, actually. ;) Jobs ideal was a computing device as an appliance, with no way to open it or change it. But he was constantly pushing for making great devices, constantly dissatisfied with what could be cobbled together with existing parts (so we benefit from him pushing his designers and engineers to try all sort of new things and invent new technologies). Woz was a hacker* extraordinaire, who could make simple parts do amazing things (the Apple II Disk Controller was a revolutionarily simple design that had many advantages over existing more complicated/expensive designs), and he encouraged others to do the same.

*: (from back when hacker meant "adept at delving into existing systems, understanding how they work, modifying them to do new interesting stuff, and using the knowledge gained to make entirely new things" - sigh, someone broke into a computer, someone else commented that "a hacker did it", and some reporter heard and either misunderstood or just intentionally misused the term because it sounded catchy, and now "hacker" means "computer criminal" to most people).

Interesting though, there are purportedly less than 60 in existence.

I thought I recalled the original production being in the neighborhood of 200, though I could be wrong.

$666-the price point devised by a couple of high California kids lol.

Devised by a couple of counter-culture revolutionaries, who found it entertaining and thought others of like mind would too. The competition at the time was CP/M running on S-100 bus 8080 systems (displaying on monochrome text-only terminals) that were really intended for business use. At the time, computers were basically only used by large companies - Steve & Steve had a dream of making computers that everyone could use (power to the people) - that was the revolution they were trying to foment. Indeed, Apple's follow-on machine, the Apple II, was on the market months before the (monochrome-only) TRS-80 and Commodore PET, years before the Atari 400/800, and many years before the first IBM PC. At the time it kind of was revolutionary.

And, in some ways, the computer today that most closely matches Steve Jobs' ideal, what he thought computers should be, is the iPad.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BruceEBonus Avatar
48 months ago
I am waiting til September when they bring out the Apple 1S. I like Apple retro phones/iPads/Macs with the "less is more" adage but when it comes to classics like this I'll wait till it comes with a 16k version and faster cassette player. o_O
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Relentless Power Avatar
48 months ago

Ugh, wish Apple would bring back true upgradability on their products again.

It's not a Pro product unless you can solder your own capacitors onto it. This wouldn't be happening if Woz was still here.

Woz probably has a dozen of these in his garage and doesn't even know it.

Interesting though, there are purportedly less than 60 in existence.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MH01 Avatar
48 months ago
Check that out, compared to current MacBook Pro , more ports , user serviceable , no battery issues and similar pricing in EU :p

Love the early macs, so much involvement from the community and upgrading .....ahhh upgrading and thnkering, what I hate the most about the current dumb machines .....
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WarHeadz Avatar
48 months ago

$666-the price point devised by a couple of high California kids lol.

Thank god for high California kids...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
ipad pro 2021 mysmartprice cad

Allegedly Leaked 2021 iPad Pro CAD Images Suggest Few Design Changes

Tuesday January 12, 2021 3:38 am PST by
Tech blogs 91mobile and MySmartPrice on Tuesday posted a series of allegedly leaked factory CAD images of Apple's upcoming fifth-generation 11-inch iPad Pro. Rumors suggest Apple plans to announce two new iPad Pro models in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions, and today's images offer perhaps the clearest indication yet that Apple's next-generation iPad Pros will have minimal, if any,...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
mac anti reflective coating issue

Apple's Anti-Reflective Coating Repair Program Still in Effect for Some MacBooks With New Mail-In Policy

Tuesday January 12, 2021 10:07 am PST by
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple recently informed its network of Apple Authorized Service Providers that mail-in repair is now required for Mac notebooks with anti-reflective coating issues in the United States. The new policy went into effect January 4, 2021 and means that customers who take an eligible 12-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro exhibiting this issue to an Apple...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
whatsapp wallpapers 1

WhatsApp Affirms User Privacy Following Backlash Over Data Sharing With Facebook

Tuesday January 12, 2021 6:39 am PST by
Following backlash after changing its terms and privacy policy to consolidate a significant amount of data sharing with Facebook, WhatsApp is now assuring users about the privacy measures built into its app. Last week, WhatsApp began informing users of updates to the app's terms of service and privacy policy. The updated agreements, which users must consent to in order to continue using...
apple racial equity justice initiative propel center render 01132021

Apple Launches New Nationwide Racial Equity and Justice Initiative Projects

Wednesday January 13, 2021 4:08 am PST by
Apple today announced a set of new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color. Rendering of the Propel Center The projects include the Propel Center, a global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an Apple ...