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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

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).


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.


"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
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Oct 15, 2017
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.


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

Darth Tulhu

macrumors 68020
Apr 10, 2019
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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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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macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2019
Hillsboro, OR
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!


macrumors 68030
Feb 27, 2006
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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macrumors 68020
Jan 14, 2021
United States
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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