Speculating in vintage computers isn’t exactly the same as putting money into a blue chip. Here’s the proof: a rare Apple I being sold at auction at Christie’s has just failed to make its minimum bid of 50,000 British pounds (or about $80,000), despite the fact that a similar machine sold for $374,500 in June.
It’s surprising given recent auctions for similar machines that the Christie’s Apple 1 didn’t find anyone willing to match the minimum reserve price. Not only did an Apple 1 sold less than six months ago bring in almost $400,000, but another Apple 1 sold at auction back in 2010 sold for $213,600.
It turns out, though, that the going price of Apple 1’s is highly variable, almost schizophrenically so. Classic Computing puts the numbers in perspective:
-$75,600 in June 2012
-$22,766.66 in September 2010 (A)
-$42,766 in March 2010
-$50,000 in November 2009 (B)
– $17,000 in September 2009
The machines marked “A” and “B” are actually the Apple 1’s sold for $374,500 and $212,267 a couple of years later, accordingly.
So how much is an Apple 1 worth? Same as anything else is: the maximum someone’s willing to pay for it. You can buy one for a relative song if you’re willing to hunt around, but if you just have to have one right now, you can expect to pay almost half a million dollars.
Source: Classic Computing.