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Auction of Apple's first computer expected to top $160k

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
A rare piece of Apple history will go on sale later this month when Christie's auctions Apple's first product, the Apple I personal computer, for an estimated $160,000-$240,000 on Nov. 23.

The Apple I, acknowledged by many as the first "personal computer," was Apple's first product offering. Approximately 200 units were hand-built by Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak and priced at $666.66. With a completely pre-assembled motherboard, the computer helped to spark the home computer revolution when it was released in July 1976.

High-end auction house Christie's is selling a "superb example" of the Apple I, with an estimate ranging from $160,000-$240,000. Even at the low end of the estimate, the computer will sell for over 60 times its original cost, approximately $2,500 after adjusting for inflation.

Apple I units have become quite the collector's item, with an estimated 30 to 50 still in existence. In 1999, an Apple I reportedly sold for $50,000.

Source: Christie's

The auction includes the Apple I in its original shipping box and the Apple I cassette interface, as well as a signed letter from Apple cofounder Steve Jobs. The return address on the original packaging shows that the unit shipped from Jobs' parents' house.

Christie's will sell the Apple I as part of a larger Nov. 23 London auction including a cypher machine, a first edition presentation copy of a publication by Charles Babbage, and a variety of other "valuable printed books and manuscripts.

Apple's unique role in the history of computing and the loyal following it has acquired have driven sales of pieces of Apple history before. In October, the owner of The Mac Museum of New Jersey sold a large collection of vintage Macs on eBay for $10,000. In 2008, an early engineering worker at Apple auctioned off the company's original trade show sign and Wozniak's toolbox.
post #2 of 32
[SARCASM]Can't wait till it's jailbroken to run iOS 4.2[/SARCASM]
post #3 of 32
Way more. At least a half million. I can see it going for a million. Too many nerds with big money...

EDIT: Maybe not - I thought it was the first one they ever built...
Emailing video from iPhone to Apple TV , sort of..
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Emailing video from iPhone to Apple TV , sort of..
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post #4 of 32
Typical overpriced Apple, you can get a netbook for $300 without paying the Apple tax.

P.S. I wish I'd kept my Mac Plus, my wife threw it away, the mouse was held together with Bluetac and string and it worked (well sort of if you hit the side, ju-ust right you could get the monitor to go from a small dot in the centre of the screen to displaying a desktop).
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post #5 of 32
...I'd buy that for a dollar!

Name that movie! (no cheating!)
post #6 of 32
It's still pretty snappy!
:-D * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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:-D * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias03 View Post

...I'd buy that for a dollar!

Name that movie! (no cheating!)

Robocop
post #8 of 32
yeah this will go for wayyy more.
post #9 of 32
No HDMI and USB ports.. FAIL!
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

No HDMI and USB ports.. FAIL!

Fair call, but what about Blu-ray.
post #11 of 32
No resolution independence. Not cool.
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #12 of 32
That's awesome! There's one in The Smithsonian. I'd bid on it, if I had the coin.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #13 of 32
Yeah, but can it run Crysis?
post #14 of 32
"Steve Wozniak and priced at $666.66"

More proof that the two Steves made a deal with Satan.
post #15 of 32
Google is coming up with a competitor that will sell for much more! Just wait!
post #16 of 32
Ended up using many lesser computers until the Mac Pluses came out. I absolutely loved that Mac Plus but out grew it after a bit, now my iPhone 3G runs circles around that machine. I took a side trip away from Apple when the company offerings really got out of whack with reality. A few months with NT and I was forced to Linux. OS/X brought me back to the Mac on my laptop.

Given that history I've always wanted an Apple and frankly would bid on the machine if I had the coin. Those years of my life where often spent reading Byte or Dr. Dobbs or grabing whatever job I could while still in school. Worst the economy tanked early in the 80's so even after high school new computers didn't come early. I never took my eye off the stuff coming out of Apple though and when buying that Mac Plus it was a true feeling of a revolution at hand. Followed by the story we all know.
post #17 of 32
Microsoft plans to copy it.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #18 of 32
What, no floppy drive? PASS!

In all seriousness, that's a nice piece of history right there. It's amazing how far technology has come. My first computer was a used Macintosh IIcx, running at a whopping 16 Mhz, with a 40 megabyte hard drive and 1 megabyte of ram. When I upgraded it to 4 megs of ram, it cost me $200 (four 1 megabyte modules at $50 each).

Ah, nostalgia...
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

"Steve Wozniak and priced at $666.66"

More proof that the two Steves made a deal with Satan.

Summer '09 Macbook 6 GB RAM, SSD; iPhone 3GS, aTV v.2

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Summer '09 Macbook 6 GB RAM, SSD; iPhone 3GS, aTV v.2

Jesus told her, I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Anyone who lives in me and [trusts]...
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post #20 of 32
I sold the first and original iPod from 2001 for virtually what I paid for it new. Wish I'd kept it now.
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #21 of 32
When I first saw these pictures, I thought everything looked familiar, and I remember watching the actual eBay auction. These items were listed on eBay less than a year ago, and sold for only $50,000 (still a bit out of my league). That was the starting bid, and there was surprisingly only one bidder, that won the computer at the very end of the auction. I recall there was a lot of press at the time, and searching on google, here are some links on the story:

http://www.nikonweb.com/forum/viewto...=474&view=next

http://www.cultofmac.com/another-app...or-50000/21159

http://www.news10.net/news/story.asp...=70629&catid=2

http://www.cultofmac.com/com-exclusi...r-speaks/21296

It'll be interesting to see what the item will bring in less than a year's time.
post #22 of 32


Well, Apple enthusiasts see where I'm coming from.

Am I losing money? Alas, not anymore.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply
post #23 of 32
Trolls, this is very sweet topic. I know, you'll shit it as you do any topic in here. Sad, trolls, sad.
Do so kindly, go troll anywhere else...

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A rare piece of Apple history will go on sale later this month when Christie's auctions Apple's first product, the Apple I personal computer, for an estimated $160,000-$240,000 on Nov. 23.

The Apple I, acknowledged by many as the first "personal computer," was Apple's first product offering. Approximately 200 units were hand-built by Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak and priced at $666.66. With a completely pre-assembled motherboard, the computer helped to spark the home computer revolution when it was released in July 1976.

High-end auction house Christie's is selling a "superb example" of the Apple I, with an estimate ranging from $160,000-$240,000. Even at the low end of the estimate, the computer will sell for over 60 times its original cost, approximately $2,500 after adjusting for inflation.

Apple I units have become quite the collector's item, with an estimated 30 to 50 still in existence. In 1999, an Apple I reportedly sold for $50,000.

Source: Christie's

The auction includes the Apple I in its original shipping box and the Apple I cassette interface, as well as a signed letter from Apple cofounder Steve Jobs. The return address on the original packaging shows that the unit shipped from Jobs' parents' house.

Christie's will sell the Apple I as part of a larger Nov. 23 London auction including a cypher machine, a first edition presentation copy of a publication by Charles Babbage, and a variety of other "valuable printed books and manuscripts.

Apple's unique role in the history of computing and the loyal following it has acquired have driven sales of pieces of Apple history before. In October, the owner of The Mac Museum of New Jersey sold a large collection of vintage Macs on eBay for $10,000. In 2008, an early engineering worker at Apple auctioned off the company's original trade show sign and Wozniak's toolbox.

The person who buys this has a lot of money to burn on nonsense instead of giving it to a reputable charity where it can do a lot of good for people in today's horrific economy.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerald apple View Post

The person who buys this has a lot of money to burn on nonsense instead of giving it to a reputable charity where it can do a lot of good for people in today's horrific economy.

i wont argue the point, as long as you have the same disdain for people who buy $20 million paintings, $150,000 cars, million dollar houses.


also, remember that poor people existed, as will exist, outside the "horrific economy"... are you in favor of this money being spent in a "good" economy, which has potentially more heavily downtrodden poor people...
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Typical overpriced Apple, you can get a netbook for $300 without paying the Apple tax.

P.S. I wish I'd kept my Mac Plus, my wife threw it away, the mouse was held together with Bluetac and string and it worked (well sort of if you hit the side, ju-ust right you could get the monitor to go from a small dot in the centre of the screen to displaying a desktop).

I still have my first Mac, the venerable Mac Plus. It still works like new; but I last used it around 1993 in business for anything serious. Can't bring myself to sell it although I've sold quite a few others and given away a few.
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A rare piece of Apple history will go on sale later this month when Christie's auctions Apple's first product, the Apple I personal computer, for an estimated $160,000-$240,000 on Nov. 23.




IMO, this is very, very cool. I'm glad that this sort of history is revered and preserved.,
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipaq View Post

I still have my first Mac, the venerable Mac Plus. It still works like new; but I last used it around 1993 in business for anything serious. Can't bring myself to sell it although I've sold quite a few others and given away a few.

I Still have my original 128K Mac and an extra motherboard that I modified to give it a whopping 512K (and replaced the original ROMs with EEPROM copies of the 'new' ROMs). Sold the Plus I owned - had upgraded it to a 68020 and 4 Meg RAM ( I think at that point one meg SIMMs were approx. $250.00 EACH. I had to sell it so I could afford my Mac II with a RGB monitor (and a free kong monitor). The Mac II easily cost $5000 even with my discount at the TAMU Bookstore Micro Center.

I managed to get most of the money I put into them back out (with student or developers discount prices) - with one exception. I had a brand new LaserWriter II NTX with max'd out RAM (12 Megs if memory serves me correctly). I needed it for a page layout program I was working on as a consultant. I purchased one and they reimbursed me for it (told me to keep it when the project was cancelled a few months later). I remember very well the $7000 price tag on that printer! A few years later it started acting up and after a little diagnosis I found out that it needed a new motherboard. The part cost around $300 (in 1998) but since printer prices had really started to go down I decided to see if it was worth putting that much into it to repair it. The printer wasn't even worth the more than $300 it would have cost to repair it.

Have a pile of other Apple stuff also - my wife keeps wanting me to get rid of it but I've managed to hold on to most everything I really wanted to keep though.

I would have loved to have owned one of the Apple I computers - wasn't able to afford it then and don't have the bucks for one now either. (I helped a friend build an IMSAI around that time - which I would love to have now also - but given the choice the Apple I would be my first choice.)
post #29 of 32
"The return address on the original packaging shows that the unit shipped from Jobs' parents' house"

Awwww!!! That's just too cute!

How great that such a thing still exists to put a personal face on the start of a mega corporation. And how amazing that the founder is still at the helm of a company doing great stuff!

Fan or not, Apple is ultimately about one thing -- quality.
post #30 of 32
I've got a classic Mac IIsi that I'll let go for a steal of $10,000.

And if you're interested in that, I have a seriously classic Quadra 800 for $12,500 and an 8500 with a G4 upgrade card for the low, low price of $7500.

Get all three for $25,000! Plus I'll throw in free monitors!


Today's Special: Powerbook 540c with the PPC upgrade card. Only $6000!
post #31 of 32
"Buried beneath tons of rubbish in an unidentified landfill, the first IBM PC could not be reached for comment."
post #32 of 32
Wow this would sell for way more than 160k.
There are a lot of people out here who are
after this rare item. It's hard to imagine
hand building a computer from scratch, especially
back then.
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