Apple I Computer Heads To Auction
August 30, 2012

Christie’s To Auction Off Another Apple I Computer

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Apple´s early computers are a piece of computing history. The very first Apple I computers were each hardwired by Steve Wozniak in Steve Jobs´ parent´s garage, and the pair only built 200 of these boards. These units were also famous for their minimalist nature, as any customer only received a computer board for their $666.66 purchase. It was up to the user to build a case and supply a TV screen to act as the monitor for these early machines.

With so much history and so much ancient-looking tech soldered onto this little green board, it´s no wonder some would be willing to pay more than the original $666.66 asking price. Some, however, would be willing to pay as much as 190 times the original asking price, somewhere to the tune of $126,000.

Like we´ve seen before many times in the past, yet another Apple I computer is landing on the auction block at Christie´s auction house in London, England on October 9th. This particular unit once belonged to a former Apple employee, one Joe Copson, according to the Daily Mail.

As is always the case when these iconic units go up for sale, collectors and museums from all over the world will try their best to place the winning bid and add an extremely rare piece of computing to their collections.

According to Christie´s scientific specialist James Hyslop, the steep presage price tag associated with this computer is a sign that interest is growing in these ancient machines.

“This is the computer that started Apple, now recognized as the most valuable company in the world,” said Hyslop, according to the Daily Mail.

“Its significance in making computer technology accessible for all cannot be undervalued.”

Earlier this summer, another Apple I hit the auction block at Sotheby´s auction house, as well as a memo and handwritten note from Steve Jobs, Apple founder and late CEO. This particular Apple I was said to be only one of 6 completely functioning units remaining. Early estimates for the June auction started at $120,000 to $150,000. When the final bid was placed, this functioning Apple I reached slightly over $374,000, more than double pre-sale estimates and setting a new record for the price of a piece of Apple gear at auction, according to the Daily Mail.

As for the notes in this June auction, they sold for $27,500, surpassing the $10,000 to $15,000 pre-sale estimates.

Elsewhere in the litany of vintage Apple goods at auction, the original three-page contract between business partners Jobs, Wozniak and Ron Wayne which established Apple Computers as a company sold at Sotheby´s last December for a whopping $1.6 million.

These papers outlined the early agreements between the three men concerning the earliest days of what is now the most valuable company in the world. The contract was signed by the three men in California on April 1st, 1976.

As the story goes, Ron Wayne left the company not long after this contract was signed, selling all of his shares back to Jobs for $800. Had Wayne held on to this stock, he would have been an easy billionaire today.