A working Apple I, the first computer built by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976, has been sold at auction for a record $640,000. That’s considerably more than the machine’s original asking price of $666.66, and almost $270,000 more than the previous Apple I record set by Sotheby’s back in June.
What’s more, the machine’s, Lonnie Mimms, owner has two Apple I units; one that has original parts that doesn’t work, and one with replacement parts that does work. It’s the latter that sold at a German auction in November for a record fee.
Classic Computing spoke to Mimms, who explained why be believes the Apple I was so successful at auction.
“The Apple I, because of Apple’s status now in the world, is the beginning of that company,” Mimms explained. “For corporate America and for the computer industry, there isn’t anything more iconic than that in existence.”
Prior to the Apple I sale at Sotheby’s in June, which went for $374,500, a non-working Apple I was put through auction by Christie’s, but it failed to reach its $50,000 reserve price.
So, is it worth holding onto your MacBook Pro for 40 years and then trying to auction that for a house? Probably not. You see, there were only 200 Apple I computers ever made — each of them were built by hand by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak — and it’s believed that only six of the 50 examples still intact are actually in a working condition.
Your MacBook Pro, on the other hand, is mass produced. So there’s a good chance they’ll be plenty of those knocking around come 2053.
The Apple I first hit the market in 1976 for $666.66. It was largely just a circuit board; it didn’t have a monitor, a power supply, a keyboard, or even a case.