Ultra-Rare, Fully Functional Apple-1 Computer Sells For $375,000

Auction firm RR Auction made news in August as it was getting ready to auction off a very rare and valuable piece of computer history. That bit of history was one of the few remaining and fully functional Apple-1 computer systems built by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. This particular machine was purchased by the original owner from The Byte Shop where the Apple-1 was sold for $666.66 back in the '70s. The original owner used the rig to learn BASIC programming and wrote small programs on it.

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The owner held onto the Apple-1 all these years because he felt it could be a piece of computing history one day. That reasoning has turned out to be valid with fewer than 70 Apple-1 computers thought to be remaining in the world out of the original 200 machines that Jobs and Wozniak built. The computer has turned into a major windfall with the rig bringing $375,000 at auction.

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Early estimates had pegged the gavel price for the Apple-1 auction at over $300,000, and the final price certainly fits that bill. The machine was restored by noted Apple-1 expert Corey Cohn to its original operating state. Cohn provided a technical condition report with the auction that rated the Apple-1 at 8.5/10 after operating for eight hours during testing.

A few Apple-1 computers have surfaced at auction over the last several years. The most expensive one sold to date brought in $815,000 and fetched such a high price because it was extremely rare with a blank "green" PCB board that wasn't sold to the public. The machine that RR Auction sold included the original manual for the computer and a cassette interface cable. Part of its refurbishment included a period surplus ASCII keyboard, a period correct open frame Sanyo 4205 monitor, and a period-style power supple cable. The original Apple-1 power cable and connector were also included.