Just how much does an Apple computer cost? $1299 for the lastest iPad inspired Macbook Air, quite pricey if you ask around. But perhaps this just goes to show the real worth of an apple design computers. After 34 years since its inception, an original Apple 1 computer is being auctioned off at $160k.
At the November 23 Christie’s auction event in London, an original unit of Apple 1 computer, world’s first personal computer, will be displayed for auction. The bid is estimated to go up as high as $160k to $250k, a very very distant figure from its original price of $666.66
The Apple 1 computers, which were sold as kits with only a fully assembled circuit board containing about 60+ chips, were designed and built by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs back in 1976 at Job’s home garage. The Apple 1 was the very first product of the Apple company and it was first demonstrated at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California.
After 3 months since it was unveiled, the Apple 1 computer went on sale at the price of $666.66, because, allegedly, Wozniak liked repeating digits. The pair made only about 200 units of Apple 1 computers.
As of 2008, only an estimated 30 to 50 Apple 1 computers survive, making it a very rare collector’s item. Experts deem that the average price for an Apple 1 is in the $14,000–$16,000 range, about $150k less than the item-sold by Christie.
According to CNN, the item up for auction will come in its original box– with the return address pointing back to the California garage where Apple Corp. began — and features the original Apple logo, which showed Isaac Newton getting hit on the head with an Apple. It will also come with a special signed note by CEO Steve Jobs.
An generated review of the said item reads:
“An Apple-1 motherboard, number 82, printed label to reverse, with a few slightly later additions including a 6502 microprocessor, labeled R6502P R6502-11 8145, printed circuit board with 4 rows A-D and columns 1-18, three capacitors, heatsink, cassette board connector, 8K bytes of RAM, keyboard interface, firmware in PROMS, low-profile sockets on all integrated circuits, video terminal, breadboard area with slightly later connector, with latersoldering, wires and electrical tape to reverse, printed to obverse Apple Computer 1 Palo Alto. Ca. Copyright 1976.”
The original Apple 1 computers include only an assembled circuit board. Users had to add a case, power supply transformers, power switch, ASCII keyboard, and composite video display to make it work. In fact, the auction site posted: “Prior to this, all home personal computers were sold as kits that involved soldering skills and a knowledge of electronics.”
Wired.co.uk, a review site for gadgets and electronics, was first to point out the absurdity of the price. “Despite its incredible rarity, the Apple-1 has previously been known to fetch at best $50,000 at auction, and typically garners more like $14,000 to $16,000. That’s a lot lower than the auction’s $160,000 to $240,000 estimate,” the site said.
But, a spokesperson from Christie fired back, defending the item as a unique rare find. The spokesperson said that the item, unlike the “quarter” of the original Apple-1 computers found in the market, is still in such good, near-original condition with associated ephemera and full provenance.