A rare Apple-1 computer, which is still in working condition, will soon go under the hammer at Christie’s auction house. This is the device that started the legend of not only Steve Jobs but also Apple itself.
Christie’s points out that less than 100 of the original 200 Apple-1 computers that were ever manufactured are still in working condition. When it was launched in 1976, the device built by Steve Jobs and his partner, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, came with a $666.66 price tag.
A year later, the price had fallen to $475 and Apple was already busy developing the Apple-2, which eventually made the Apple-1 obsolete.
In the description, Christie’s notes: “After Jobs and Wozniak officially discontinued the Apple-1 in October 1977, they offered discounts and trade-ins to encourage all Apple-1 owners to return their machines. These were destroyed, and fewer than half of the Apple-1s survived.”
Despite the fact that the Apple-1 was sold without attachments, such as a keyboard and a mouse, it was nevertheless a pioneering device – for example, it featured a pre-assembled motherboard, something that other computers of that era did not offer.
The lot also includes a copy of the very first manual printed by Apple Computer Company. This is often attributed to Ron Wayne, who co-founded the company with Jobs and Wozniak but sold his share for $800 only 12 days later.
A 33% share in Apple will today cost more than $300bn.
Christie’s points out that there are currently 15 examples of the Apple-1 held in public collections across the world. The list includes the Smithsonian Museum of Art. The auction house estimates that the computer will sell for somewhere between $391,799 and $652,999. The online sale starts on 16 May and will run for a week.