Apple I Auctioned for a Record High of $640,000
As noted by Classic Computing
, a working example of Apple’s first computer was sold by German auction house Team Breker in November for $640,000. This auction broke the previous Apple I record selling price of $374,500 set by Sotheby’s in June. Prior to this deal, Christie’s put a non-working Apple I motherboard on the block in the UK, but bids failed to surpass the £50,000 reserve price.
While Apple continues to expand its share of the consumer market, the company’s early products have become more collectible and are fetching increasingly large sums at auctions. Previously, in June, a functioning version of the 1976 Apple I motherboard sold for $374,500, beating its estimated sales price of $120,000 to $180,000. Also included in the auction was an unrelated note written by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs during his time at Atari, which sold for $27,500.
The folks over at Classic Computing
sat down with avid collector Lonnie Mimms, who currently has two Apple I units amongst his many machines, one a non-working example with all-original parts and a second working model with replaced components. "The Apple 1, because of Apple's status now in the world, is the beginning of that company," Mimms explained. "For corporate America and for the computer industry, there isn't anything more iconic than that in existence."
For those of you who aren’t aware, only 200 Apple I computers were made, each hand-built by Steve Wozniak, and only six of the estimated 50 intact examples are believed to be in working condition. The product was sold for $666.66 without a power supply, display, keyboard, or housing when it was first released in 1976. I bet if more people had known how much it might have been worth today, they might have considered buying and holding on to it.
Source: Classic Computing