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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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A functioning Apple 1 computer, one of the first 200 computers sold by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, sold for $374,500 including the 12% buyer's premium at a Sotheby's action in New York. The Apple 1 originally sold for $666.66. The BBC notes that only about 50 Apple 1's still exist and only a handful actually work.
Sotheby's said there was a battle between two parties for the item which also included the original manuals. A set of bids were executed by the auctioneer on behalf of an absentee collector, but a telephone bidder proved more persistent and eventually clinched the sale.
Fine-Books-and-Manuscripts-Event-Detail-_-Sotheby_s-Auctions-Fine-Books-and-Manuscripts-Lot-57-_-Apple


APPLE I COMPUTER

Operational Apple Computer I. An Apple I motherboard, labeled?on obverse Apple?Computer I, Palo Alto, CA. Copyright 1976. Includes circuit board with four rows A-D, and columns 1-18; MOS Technologies 6502 microprocessor, labeled MCS 6502 3776; video terminal; keyboard interface; 8K bytes RAM in 16-pin 4K memory chips; 4 power supplies including 3 capacitors; firmware in PROMS (A1, A2); low-profile sockets on all integrated circuits; breadboard; heatsink; expansion connector; cassette board connector. (15 1/8 x 9 in.; 385 x 234 mm)

Together with: Apple I Cassette Interface, labeled Apple I Cassette Interface Copyright 1976, partial "G" lettered in triangle on reverse, in black ink manuscript (4 x 2 in.; 102 x 50 mm). -- Apple-I Operation Manual. Palo Alto: Apple Computer Company. 12 pp. in wrappers (11 x 8 1/2 in.; 280 x 214 mm), with 8 circuit diagrams, 2 on foldout printed verso and recto, one full page; with original Apple Computer Co. logo on upper wrapper; tear along fold, light staining on wrapper and bottom right corner. -- Apple-I Cassette Interface Manual, Palo Alto: Apple Computer Company. Oblong 8 pp. bifolia (8 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.; 140 x 215 mm), with some staining to wrappers; original logo on upper wrapper, warranty on?lower wrapper --?Preliminary Apple BASIC Users Manual. Palo Alto: Apple Computer Company, October 1976. 8?stapled sheets (11?x 8?1/2 in.;?280?x?214 mm), printed?verso?and recto, with first sheet on?blue?paper?with tear along staple?and?manuscript "Randy J?Suess."?Some?staining to?first?and?last?page,?with?tear?on?last page. -- Double-sided?advertisement with illustration for Apple I?Computer and the?Apple Cassette Interface,?with manuscript?note (11 x?8?1/2 in.; 280 x 214 mm).
Early Apple memorabilia has been a hot ticket recently. Sotheby's sold Apple's founding corporate papers -- signed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne -- in December for nearly $1.6 million.

Article Link: Functioning Apple 1 Sells for $375,000 at Sotheby's Auction
 

macnerd93

macrumors 6502a
Nov 28, 2009
712
167
United Kingdom
such an amazing piece of computing history. I wonder if any Apple I's have been tucked away in boxes in attics and what not and forgotten about over the years. Be awesome if someone was sat on almost 400,000 grand and they didn't know LOL.

Wish it was me though, but all I have in my loft is a Commodore and a ZX81 :(
 
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SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,482
9,999
Detroit
Hey, more power to the buyer. But from my perspective, I ask why? Why pay that much for it and what could I do with it, aside from looking at it, pointing and saying "well, there it is."
 
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fixmymac

macrumors regular
Old Stuff

I have a customer, who worked with Woz, during his time at HP. On my second visit to him we talked about older Macs. I waxed lyrical about my original Macintosh and he listened intently. He then told me that he had a collection of old Macs out in the garage that he would show me sometime. On my third visit, he duly obliged.

Neatly laid out on three shelves were 6 Apple II computers, 4 of which worked fine. He then pulled a fabric cover off the stuff on the bottom shelf to reveal three Apple I computers. I was assured that two of them were fully functional and that he also had complete paperwork and packaging for them. Was he not a very ill, wheelchair-bound man, i would have asked to see them running.

I was then shown an email conversation between him and Mr Wozniak. They had remained in touch with each other and Woz had promised that he would fix up his broken II's and I, if possible and would be sure to pack his soldering iron if he was ever visiting the country.
 
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kurosov

macrumors 6502a
Jan 3, 2009
670
334
Hey, more power to the buyer. But from my perspective, I ask why? Why pay that much for it and what could I do with it, aside from looking at it, pointing and saying "well, there it is."

For the very same reason people collect antiques or relics.
 
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SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,482
9,999
Detroit
People love collecting stuff. I like to collect G shocks, especially Jap releases. Not so expensive and there is something enjoyable about having them.

I understand that, which is why I stated "from my perspective", as if it were me going to buy the Apple I. I'm not a collector or an art buff, so I don't see the value in much of those things for me, which is why I question it.

Just like beauty, I believe that value is also in the eye of the beholder.

So obviously, it was worth the $375K to the buyer. If it were me, I wouldn't give $1 for it, simply because I have no use for an Apple I. Unless my intention was to resell it for an excessive amount of money. :p
 
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clibinarius

macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2010
667
62
NY
Hey, moron who bought this:

You can buy a top of the line retina display macbook pro instead. Much better value, cheaper and more functional!

Really? People take this comment seriously? Oh right, I made fun of insane fan boys with too much money while promoting fanboyism. My bad.
 
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WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2007
2,527
1,530
Over stating it a bit aren't you?!

How many artifacts can you point to that represent the starting point of a total revolution in how humans communicate and process information? Is it not as important as some dusty spear head from some battle of some war that won some country some land?
 
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Swain

macrumors member
Nov 6, 2011
75
0
Hey, more power to the buyer. But from my perspective, I ask why? Why pay that much for it and what could I do with it, aside from looking at it, pointing and saying "well, there it is."

You can say the same about any painting or art-related. Why do people pay millions for let's say a work of Damien Hirst?
 
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thermodynamic

Suspended
May 3, 2009
1,341
1,192
USA
Some people like to collect things. The first product hand-built by one of the founders of one of the most storied corporations in world history might be an interesting thing to collect.

Logical.

Granted, once a component burns out, replacement costs to make it functional again will be high, and even time and the laws of physics... even if the new owner never powers it on, to test it as 'fully operational' and sell it...

There really are times when we place too much value on things.
 
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h1r0ll3r

macrumors 68040
Dec 28, 2009
3,890
1
Maryland
About 50 of these exist in the world and of them only a few are operational. That makes this item a rare collectible item. If you've got the money to burn, why not? I wouldn't necessarily buy if I had that kind of money to each his/her own. Definitely a piece of history from the worlds top tech companies and makes for one hell of a conversation piece.
 
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InfoTime

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2002
446
226
I'll save everyone the trouble...

Wow! Only 4KB RAM? $600? !!

Bill Gates said no one would ever need more than 640KB.

I remember when I paid x for y in z
(i.e. I remember when I paid $400 for 16MB RAM in 1995)

where x = a $ amount, y = some amount of storage or memory, and z = the year.

There, that'll keep about a page of senseless posts out of this thread. :D
 
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