What’s A Vintage Apple I Worth? Not Much According To The Latest Christie’s Auction

What’s A Vintage Apple I Worth? Not Much According To The Latest Christie’s Auction

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.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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