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First Apple computer could fetch £324,000 at auction

No, it isn’t the next iPad, but the first Apple computer designed way back in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. The Apple 1 computer was the foundation of the business that the two Steve’s created in the 70’s and is firmly seen as a piece of technology history.

The Apple 1 is set to go on auction at Christies this coming week with bidding starting at $300,000. Estimations for final price sale are close to £324,000, or half a million dollars.

Ted Perry, the owner of the Apple 1 said “This is a piece of history that made a difference in the world, it’s where the computer revolution started.” He has it stashed away in a cardboard box in Sacremento California. Perry is now 70 and got the Apple 1 in 1979 or 1980 as a secondhand item. He didn’t even pay for it, swapping another computer equipment he had for it.

The computer was initially sold for $666.66, not the number of the beast in this case, but the number of the Apple. Only 200 of the first computer were made, but they are almost impossible to find today. Experts claim that only 30 to 50 of the first Apple computers are still alive and kicking.

The Apple 1 which was sold as a do-it-yourself kit (without the lovely case seen here)
The Apple 1 which was sold as a do-it-yourself kit (without the lovely case seen here). Source: Computer Science Lab

The Apple 1 shipped with 8 kilobytes of memory, not enough to display even part of a jpeg image taken with one of today’s digital cameras.

Another Apple 1 was sold last month for a whopping $671,400 in a German auction, breaking a previous record of $640,000.

The new auction at Christies lists “First Bytes: Iconic Technology from the Twentieth Century.” It is being held between June 24th and July 9th. It will be displayed on the Monday at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View just south of San Francisco.

Kitguru says: Moral of the story? Don’t ditch the old computer hardware you may be storing in the attic!

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