Computers

Working 1976 Apple I computer sells "cheaply" for $355,000

Working 1976 Apple I computer ...
One of just six known working models of the original Apple I computer, the first Personal Computer was sold by Christies New York on June 15, 2017  for US$355,500
One of just six known working models of the original Apple I computer, the first Personal Computer was sold by Christies New York on June 15, 2017  for US$355,500
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One of just six known working models of the original Apple I computer, the first Personal Computer was sold by Christies New York on June 15, 2017  for US$355,500
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One of just six known working models of the original Apple I computer, the first Personal Computer was sold by Christies New York on June 15, 2017  for US$355,500
Forty years ago, this was a state-of-the-art personal computer, with just the internals selling for $666 – you needed to add the keyboard, case and monitor yourself. At Christies New York on June 15, 2017, this computer sold for US$355,500
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Forty years ago, this was a state-of-the-art personal computer, with just the internals selling for $666 – you needed to add the keyboard, case and monitor yourself. At Christies New York on June 15, 2017, this computer sold for US$355,500
Forty years ago, this was a state-of-the-art personal computer, with just the internals selling for $666 – you needed to add the keyboard, case and monitor yourself. At Christies New York on June 15, 2017, this computer sold for US$355,500
3/5
Forty years ago, this was a state-of-the-art personal computer, with just the internals selling for $666 – you needed to add the keyboard, case and monitor yourself. At Christies New York on June 15, 2017, this computer sold for US$355,500
The above Apple I was expected to sell for US$ 190,000 to $320,000 at a Breker Auction, but attracted a high bid of just £100,000 (around US$127,000) and was passed in
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The above Apple I was expected to sell for US$ 190,000 to $320,000 at a Breker Auction, but attracted a high bid of just £100,000 (around US$127,000) and was passed in
The most expensive Apple 1 computer to date fetched $905,000 at Bonhams' History of Science sale on October 22, 2014, where it was purchased by the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. Full story
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The most expensive Apple 1 computer to date fetched $905,000 at Bonhams' History of Science sale on October 22, 2014, where it was purchased by the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. Full story

The general malaise in the collectibles industry continued last week when one of only six known working Apple I computers sold for just US$355,000. Whilst this may seem a lot for a 40-year-old computer, it is the cheapest working Apple I computer to have sold in recent times, with working models having previously fetched $626,967 (€492,000), $664,261 (€513,660) and $905,000, which is the current world record.

At the dawn of the age of the personal computer, Apple Computer led the way, and its first product was the Apple I, which was demonstrated to the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California in July 1976.

Apple founder Steve Wozniak attended the first meeting of the Homebrew Computer Club in 1975 and in his autobiography iWoz, he wrote, "After my first meeting, I started designing the computer that would later be known as the Apple I. It was that inspiring."

Apple was started the next year on April 1, 1976, with the first batch of these rudimentary computers assembled in Steve Jobs' garage. Following that demonstration in July, 1976, 50 units were sold to the Byte Shop (owned by Paul Terrell, one of the founders of the club), for US$500 each and retailing for $666.66. Apple went on to become the most valuable company in history.

Mike Willegald's Apple-1 Registry currently lists 66 extant Apple I computers, of which only six are known to be operational. This is one of them.

The Most Expensive Apple I computers ever sold

The most expensive Apple 1 computer to date fetched $905,000 at Bonhams' History of Science sale on October 22, 2014, where it was purchased by the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. Full story
The most expensive Apple 1 computer to date fetched $905,000 at Bonhams' History of Science sale on October 22, 2014, where it was purchased by the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. Full story

$905,000 | Sold by Bonhams New York | October 22, 2014

$664,261 (€513,660) | Sold by Auction Team Breker in Koln, Germany | May 25, 2013

Note: this computer was widely reported to have sold for $671,400

$626,967 (€492,000) | Sold by Auction Team Breker | November 2012

$389,000 (€246,000) | Sold by Auction Team Breker | November 16, 2013

$355,000 | Sold by Christies | June 15, 2017

$374,500 | Sold by Sotheby's in New York | June 15, 2012

$365,000 | Sold by Christies New York | July 9, 2013

$210,864 (GBP133,250) | Sold by Christies in London | November 23, 2010.

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