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A rare fully functional Apple-1 computer has sold for $500,000 at auction this week, according to John Moran Auctioneers in California (via BBC News).

apple-1-john-moran-auctioneers2.jpg

The rare Hawaiian koa wood-cased Apple-1 has had only two owners, a college professor and his student to whom he sold the machine for $650. The sale included user manuals and Apple software on two cassette tapes.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is believed to have built 200 of the Apple-1 computers and sold 175 of them, making it a rare collector's item.

The computer was originally offered as a bare circuit board to be sold as a kit and completed by electronics hobbyists. However, Steve Jobs later sold 50 fully assembled units of the computer to California-based The Byte Shop, and the koa wood case was added by the pioneering early computer retailer, but only six cases were finished.

apple-1-john-moran-auctioneers1.jpg

"This is kind of the holy grail for vintage electronics and computer tech collectors," Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen told the Los Angeles Times ahead of Tuesday's auction. "That really makes it exciting for a lot of people."

Another fully functional Apple-1 computer sold for $458,711 last year.

Update: The article was updated to reflect the auctioneers' official recorded auction price of $500,000, rather than the earlier reported price of $400,000. The $500,000 total price includes the buyer's premium.

Article Link: Rare Apple-1 Computer in Koa Wood Case Fetches $500,000 at Auction
 
Last edited:

macdos

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Oct 15, 2017
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That's a 12% value increase per year, given that the Apple I was sold for $3032 in 2020 prices 45 years ago.

It had 4 kB of RAM, which could be expanded to a whopping 48 kB with expansion cards. Stunning monochrome graphics 40x24 characters. 1 MHz frequency, MOS 6502. It's like nothing has happened since then.
 

4jasontv

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Jul 31, 2011
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Oh, that looks classy. I really like dark natural woods. I want one to put a HomePod on.
 

Darth Tulhu

macrumors 68000
Apr 10, 2019
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It just goes to show that some folks have too much bloody money.

Yes, I'm jealous. Of the money, not the old and useless "art" piece.

I have no appreciation for things that aren't useful.
 
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FoxyKaye

macrumors 68000
Old electronics being what they are, do you actually play with this once you own it? I had a ][e and //c back in the day, and there was a lot that these machines could do, given the era. Is the temptation to never turn it on, and hope that someday it will when you want to resell it; or, do you get the cassette tape drive and use the thing as a hobby knowing that every power cycle could be the one that stops it working?
 
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mannyvel

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2019
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I remember those 9" (or was it 7"?) black and white monitors. I remember playing Wizardry on one one of those on the Apple ][. Good times!
 

japanime

macrumors 68020
Feb 27, 2006
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The rare Hawaiian koa wood-cased Apple-1 has had only two owners, a college professor and his student to whom he sold the machine for $650.
So, the professor sold his computer at a loss (the original price was $666.66, and the koa wood option probably cost extra).

The student then waits a few years (OK, four decades) AND resells it for $500,000 (minus the buyer's premium).

I'd say the student was a bit smarter than the professor. ?
 
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webkit

macrumors 65816
Jan 14, 2021
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That's expensive! Wonder how much the first iPhone will be worth years from now

Given how many original iPhones were made, probably not that much.

However, there was a new in the box first gen iPhone that supposedly brought $4,500 on eBay recently.
 
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