Apple 1 goes under the hammer for world record price

An original Apple 1 computer, as put together by the two Steves, Wozniak and Jobs, has sold at auction for just under $1m.
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor
The Apple 1 computyer that sold for a close to $1 million. Image: Bonhams

One of the first Apple 1 computers has gone under the hammer at auctioneer Bonhams for a shade under $1m.

That's a lot of money for a few bits of wood, plastic and metal, but it is fair to say that while $905,000 (£563,904) is a lot of money, the Apple 1's place in the pantheon of IT history — alongside that of its designer, Steve Wozniak — should be somewhere very close to the front.

It is no surprise that an Apple 1 should sell at that price. Steve Jobs managed to get the first order for 100 Apple 1s to be sold at $500 each. He eventually sold 200 of them.

These days, Apple 1s regularly come up for sale at auction and over the years they have steadily increased in value. It is only a matter of time before one sells for $1m.

According to the auctioneers, the Apple 1 was expected to sell for between $300,000 and $500,000 before the Henry Ford Museum of Dearborn, Michigan, stepped in to buy it.

Commenting on the sale, Cassandra Hatton, the senior specialist in charge of the auction for Bonhams, said that the provenance on the Apple 1 was excellent and the condition outstanding. She said that it was not surprising that it did so well.

"We are thrilled to have broken the world record for its sale, and are even more thrilled that it is going to a wonderful new home at the Henry Ford Museum," Hatton said.

In addition to the intact motherboard, this Apple 1 that was sold has a vintage keyboard with pre-7400 series military specification chips, a vintage Sanyo monitor, a custom power supply in a wooden box and two vintage tape-decks.

The lot also includes ephemera from the Cincinnati AppleSiders such as their first newsletter, Poke-Apple, from February of 1979 and a video recording of Steve Wozniak's keynote speech at the 1980 "Applevention".

The example that was sold is one of 50 hand-built for the ByteShop by Woz in the summer of 1976, almost 40 years ago.

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