Save or Sell? Collecting Trends in Apple Computers


A view of the Vintage Mac Museum.

2010 was the year of the hot Apple auctions, with an Apple 1 fetching its highest price ever, $213,000 to an Italian collector.

What’s next?

Cult of Mac’s own Adam Rosen, a Mac consultant whose vintage mac museum collection counts some 36 different models and about 75 total computers, was asked to opine for AntiqueWeek on the going prices for some popular Apple collectibles.

The short answer: hold on to your old computers if the people you live with don’t complain too loudly. They may be worth more to you than anyone else.

The Apple 1 is, like a lot of other antiques, a handmade rarity existing in small numbers, by some estimates only about 200 survive. Mass-made Macs may only fetch you a few hundred bucks, at best.

“The original 128K Macintosh is always desirable, the first Mac,” Rosen said. “These typically sell from $250-$500 these days on eBay, depending on condition, included peripherals and whether or not the original box and packing materials are available.”

The Macintosh Portable is also a popular item, he said, Apple’s beefy pre-PowerBook dubbed the “luggable” computer at over 15 pounds with a lead acid battery. “These probably go for a couple hundred dollars on eBay, though they can be found for much less on craigslist from time to time.”

The Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh, TAM for short, is also very popular with collectors, Rosen said. “I never cared for this model myself — expensive and underpowered when new — but it is forward thinking in its use of a flat-panel display and integrated AV system.” It sells for about $500.

What is the most prized item in your collection? How much would you be willing to part with it for?

Via AntiqueWeek