Antique Apple-1 Fetches Record $671K

The market for old Apple computers is heating up, with prices steadily increasing.

By
Guido Duken
May 28, 2013

One of only a few 37-year-old, still-working Apple-1 computers sold for a record $671,000 at an auction in Germany. According to Auction Team Breker of Cologne, which sold the Apple-1, the buyer was a “wealthy entrepreneur from the Far East.”

The price eclipsed the $640,000 record for an Apple-1 established last November at an auction also conducted by Breker, and was nearly double the upper estimate of approximately $390,000 set by the auctioneer earlier this month.

The two Apple-1s sold by were in working condition, a rarity for the nearly-four-decade-old computer. Experts believe that there are only six operational Apple-1 computers in the world, and just an estimated 50 or so that have survived in all.

The Apple-1 was a simple circuit board hand-built by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in 1976. Only around 200 were ever made. Buyers had to provide their own power supply, keyboard and monitor. At the time, an Apple-1 sold for $666.66.

The original manual and a letter signed by co-founder Steve Jobs was also included with the Apple-1. In the letter, Jobs offered to exchange the buyer’s Apple-1 for an Apple II 4K motherboard for another $400.

Also sold during the auction was a 1983 Apple Lisa-1, a precursor to the original Macintosh, which sold for $44,000. A 1977 Apple II, the follow-up to the Apple-1, ended bidding at $5,680.

Get your Free Gulf Business Newsletter