Apples first computer, a collectors dream, could fetch $500000 at auction – The Guardian


Steve Wozniak, Steve and Patricia Jobs and Daniel Kottke built 200 Apple-1 units in Jobs’ home 45 years ago

One of the few remaining Apple-1 computers, the company’s first product, will go on sale this week at an auction that is expected to fetch as much as $600,000.

The 45-year-old computer is one of just 200 that Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs tested and designed along with Patty Jobs and Daniel Kottke in the Jobs’ Los Altos home. It is considered a “holy grail” for vintage tech collectors.

“That really makes it exciting for a lot of people,” Corey Cohen, an Apple-1 expert, told the Los Angeles Times.

John Moran Auctioneers will auction the computer off on Tuesday with bids starting at $200,000. The southern-California-based auction house estimates it will sell for between $400,000 and $600,000. Apple-1 experts told the LA Times they estimate it will fetch around $500,000. In 2014, a New York auction house sold an Apple-1 unit for $905,000.

The model was one of 50 sold to the ByteShop in Mountain View, California. Paul Terrell, the shop’s owner, was unhappy when he first received the computers as he expected the units would be ready to be plugged in and used by the buyer. But Jobs was able to convince him he could make a profit by selling the computer with keyboards, monitors and power supplies from the shop, according to John Moran.

A Chafee College electronics professor first purchased the computer but in 1977 sold it to a student in order to upgrade to an Apple II. The student had held on to it ever since.

Steve Jobs stands beneath a photograph of him and Steve Wozniak, during a 2010 event. Photograph: Kimberly White/Reuters/Corbis

The model has undergone an “extensive authentication, restoration, and evaluation process”, according to the auction house. It is one of about 60 Apple-1 units still in existence, according to the Times, and one of just 20 still functioning.

The model is one of six encased in Koa wood, which has since become rarer and more expensive. It comes with a Panasonic video monitor, a copy of the Apple-1 basic manual and operations guide, an original programming manual, and two Apple-1 software cassette tapes as well as three original video, power and cassette interface cables.

John Moran has already received phoned-in bids, a representative told the East Bay Times, and the auction was featured in Times Square.

“When you see certain items, you just know that they’re going to be showstoppers,” Nathan Martinez, advertising and marketing director at John Moran, told the newspaper. “The Apple-1 is one of those.”












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