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Apple I computer sells for $174K at London auction

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
A rare example of Apple's first computer, the Apple I, in "superb" condition sold for $174,000 at an auction in London on Tuesday.

Italian businessman and private collector Marco Boglione made the winning bid, which came to about $210,000 after tax, by phone Tuesday at Christie's auction house in London, the Associated Press reports. Prior to the auction, Christie's estimated the computer would sell for between $160,000-240,000. When it was released in 1976, the Apple I sold for $666.66.

The Apple I computer, of which only 200 were made, has become a rare collector's item, as only 30 to 50 units are believed to still exist. The auctioned unit was listed as a "superb example" and came in its original box with a signed letter from Apple cofounder Steve Jobs.

Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, who hand-built each of the Apple I personal computers, attended the auction, offering to add an autographed letter to the lot. Wozniak told reporters the auction was a historic moment for his work.

According to the AP, the auction included other pieces of technological history, such as an Enigma code-making machine and writings of Alan Turing, who is considered "one of the founders of modern computing."

"Today my heart went out as I got to see things auctioned off like the Turing documents and the Enigma machine and the Apple I," said Wozniak after the auction. "It really was an important step, (even though) I didn't feel that way when I designed it."

Source: Christie's
post #2 of 40
If only didn’t change anything they would never have had the fragmentation that others say plague Apple’s products¡ Why did they choose to innovate; when will they learn?¡
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post #3 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If only didnt change anything they would never have had the fragmentation that others say plague Apples products¡ Why did they choose to innovate; when will they learn?¡

They have learned, and excelled faster than any other computer company in history. The performance and reliability relies heavily on the proprietary format. This is what makes them great, and will continue to grow the company. Even larger companies are forced to curb to what Apple innovates, not the other way around. New ideas is what drives demand and branding. What exactly are you referring to??

Your opinion was valid about 6 years ago, but those days have long past, as market share continues to sway towards Apple, and their stock continues to skyrocket. My portfolio is certainly happy!
post #4 of 40
$666.66 was way too expensive. No wonder they only built 200 of 'em.

Didn't run PC software either.

Apple FAIL!

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post #5 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmvsm View Post

What exactly are you referring to??

That was sarcasm (as was my post).
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post #6 of 40
I bet that beast had a whopping 2 kilobytes of memory
post #7 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

I bet that beast had a whopping 2 kilobytes of memory

Yeah, but can it play Crysis?¡
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post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

I bet that beast had a whopping 2 kilobytes of memory

Heck no. 4k. Ought to be enough for anyone.
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post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by john galt View Post

$666.66 was way too expensive. No wonder they only built 200 of 'em.

Didn't run PC software either.

There wasn't any PC software at the time.

Wouldn't you be better off learning something about a subject before you post?
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post #10 of 40
There are rumors circulating about the Apple 2. It's going to be dramatically different, so I wouldn't purchase that Apple 1 just yet.

Let's just say that I've heard from garages around town that it's going to be encased in a wooden box, with the cassette drive built in.
post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Yeah, but can it play Crysis?¡

Or run OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard?
post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by womble2k2 View Post

Or run OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard?

No but only because Apple has artificially prevented newer versions of Mac OS X from running it so they can force you to buy new HW¡
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post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A rare example of Apple's first computer, the Apple I, in "superb" condition sold for $174,000 at an auction in London on Tuesday.

Ha! The Apple tax in action. You can get a better specced Dell for $173,849.
post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A rare example of Apple's first computer, the Apple I, in "superb" condition sold for $174,000 at an auction in London on Tuesday.]

Was Boglione under buying instructions from Steve Ballmer who is still searching for the secret of Apple's recent successes with the Mac, the iPhone and the iPad?
post #15 of 40
I actually touched one of those -- ca. 1978 I was looking to try an Apple ][ and stopped in the Byte Shop of Palo Alto (Run by Bob Moody). Moody had a real pleasant [ass-hole] personality. Said he didn't carry that {Apple ][} pice of shit -- then took me in the back room and showed me an Apple 1. There was a motherboard and keyboard mounted on a slab of plywood -- total turnoff.

@john galt 4K RAM was plenty -- many of the mainframes of that day had 64K.

@sol I don't think it could play any games -- Breakout came later with the Apple ][.

Somewhere, in storage, I have an Apple 1 Manual (Isaac Newton on the cover) -- given to me by Woz's younger brother, Mark. I wonder if it is worth anything?
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post #16 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

There wasn't any PC software at the time.

Wouldn't you be better off learning something about a subject before you post?

Seems to me that you should chill a little and try to learn when people are trying to have a little fun. Quite a few of the comments in this thread have either been tongue-in-cheek or harmless sarcasm. I for one, applaud their sense of humor. Not everything has to be so serious.
post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Yeah, but can it play Crysis?¡

Ha ha ... Maybe if you did the hack that got it to 8k.
post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by mugwump View Post

There are rumors circulating about the Apple 2. It's going to be dramatically different, so I wouldn't purchase that Apple 1 just yet.

Let's just say that I've heard from garages around town that it's going to be encased in a wooden box, with the cassette drive built in.

I heard it was going to have a webcam.
I am not sure what this "web" they are referring to is.
I also overheard some guys in a garage talking about building a system of tubes.
post #19 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

I heard it was going to have a webcam.
I am not sure what this "web" they are referring to is.
I also overheard some guys in a garage talking about building a system of tubes.

Sounds like witchcraft - BURN THEM!
post #20 of 40
I just bought a MBP where's MY signed letter?
post #21 of 40
Pahhh! Computers schmooters, they'll never catch on.
post #22 of 40
Maybe I have to wait another 10 or so Years to sell my Apple II. ;-)
post #23 of 40
I have 2 questions:

Can it play Crysis?
and
Will it blend?
post #24 of 40
NEWS FLASH: iFixit on Wednesday conducted it's usual teardown of the Apple I. The Apple I's component costs total $1.65. Most of the cost saving comes from Apple's use of obsolete components and the lack of Flash memory. Gene Munster sees this as yet another sign of Apple's commitment to a streaming model for the Apple I and raised his price target for AAPL to $14,000 per share. Munster believes that with an ASP of over $100,000 and a component cost of less than $2 the Apple I is no longer just a "hobby" as Jobs claimed in 1977.
post #25 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by mugwump View Post

There are rumors circulating about the Apple 2. It's going to be dramatically different, so I wouldn't purchase that Apple 1 just yet.

Let's just say that I've heard from garages around town that it's going to be encased in a wooden box, with the cassette drive built in.

I'm holding out for the floppy disk version.
post #26 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

I'm holding out for the floppy disk version.

It will be two floppy drives, one for the system, the other for the games.
post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A rare example of Apple's first computer, the Apple I, in "superb" condition sold for $174,000 at an auction in London on Tuesday.

Italian businessman and private collector Marco Boglione made the winning bid, which came to about $210,000 after tax, by phone Tuesday at Christie's auction house in London, the Associated Press reports. Prior to the auction, Christie's estimated the computer would sell for between $160,000-240,000. When it was released in 1976, the Apple I sold for $666.66.

The Apple I computer, of which only 200 were made, has become a rare collector's item, as only 30 to 50 units are believed to still exist. The auctioned unit was listed as a "superb example" and came in its original box with a signed letter from Apple cofounder Steve Jobs.

Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, who hand-built each of the Apple I personal computers, attended the auction, offering to add an autographed letter to the lot. Wozniak told reporters the auction was a historic moment for his work.

According to the AP, the auction included other pieces of technological history, such as an Enigma code-making machine and writings of Alan Turing, who is considered "one of the founders of modern computing."

"Today my heart went out as I got to see things auctioned off like the Turing documents and the Enigma machine and the Apple I," said Wozniak after the auction. "It really was an important step, (even though) I didn't feel that way when I designed it."

Source: Christie's

This is completely nuts to spend this money for this computer.
post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerald apple View Post

This is completely nuts to spend this money for this computer.

It's good invested money though. My guess the guy who bought that machine, can easily sell it for trice the price in a couple of years.
post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doorman. View Post

I have 2 questions:

Can it play Crysis?
and
Will it blend?

A) Crysis 1 or 2?

B) Yes if you have a strong and big blender.
post #30 of 40
I am getting déjÃ* vu! Didn't this exact story run two or three weeks ago or am I in a time warp?
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #31 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerald apple View Post

This is completely nuts to spend this money for this computer.

Same could be said of many things collectors collect. The rationale I assume is another collector will pay them more one day and this has set the value base line. Having said the cynical thing I do admit it is a bit of history and if Apple do over take Exxon as the most valuable company on the planet my bet is one of their first ever products will go up in value.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Gene Munster sees this as yet another sign of Apple's commitment to a streaming model for the Apple I and raised his price target for AAPL to $14,000 per share.

Hmm... AAPL's current price reflects a 112x increase since its IPO at $2.75 (adjusted for the three 2:1 splits).

Its all time low was about $1.82 (August 1985) therefore a 170x return since then - almost the same price appreciation of the Apple I.

From $310 to $14000 would only be a 45x increase.

Gene's underestimating again.
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post #33 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by john galt View Post

Hmm... AAPL's current price reflects a 112x increase since its IPO at $2.75 (adjusted for the three 2:1 splits).

Its all time low was about $1.82 (August 1985) therefore a 170x return since then - almost the same price appreciation of the Apple I.

From $310 to $14000 would only be a 45x increase.

Gene's underestimating again.

Very clever
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #34 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerald apple View Post

This is completely nuts to spend this money for this computer.

You're ignoring the entire concept of collecting. It's the same as someone spending $400,000 on a copy of Action Comics #1.
post #35 of 40
Anyone wanna buy my NeXT Cube for $100,000??? \
post #36 of 40
At least it was built in the U.S.!

With inflation, that $666.66 would be about $2400 today.

I never "played" with an Apple I, but I did get involved with computing at the time of the Apple II, the Tandy TRS-80 Model I (known as the "Trash-80") and the Commodore 8032 series.

In spite of the fact that the Commodore had more memory and an 80-column screen capability, it appeared from the start that Apple had their act together more than the others, beginning with far better documentation and better marketing to software publishers with the "Apple evangelist" program.

It was amazing what programmers used to accomplish in those days considering the tiny bits of disk space and memory available. Code writers would pride themselves on writing tight code. I worked on the development of a test scoring program for schools and when we created the second version of the program, the developer came to me one day and said that we were going to have to go from a 48k memory requirement to 64k, which required the use of an extra 16k memory board (in the Apple II). I freaked out because I didn't think our customers would be willing to invest in buying that extra memory board. But never did we imagine that a typical computer 30 years later would have 2GB of memory. We probably didn't even know what "gig" meant.
post #37 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

Maybe I have to wait another 10 or so Years to sell my Apple II. ;-)


eh.

apple sold 200 Apple I's
apple sold millions of Apple II's (and 50,000 in the first 2.5 years)
post #38 of 40
$666.66. Hmmm. Mark of the beast? Anti-Christ? Steve Jobs? Ascendancy to his throne at age 66? I think I just broke the code

So all you Apple haters, you have 11 more years until Steve reduces you all to ashes. No worries, though, that's more than enough time to see the light and repent.
post #39 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

@john galt 4K RAM was plenty -- many of the mainframes of that day had 64K.

This unit has 8K RAM!
(zoom-in the picture)
post #40 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brometheus View Post

$666.66. Hmmm. Mark of the beast? Anti-Christ? Steve Jobs? Ascendancy to his throne at age 66? I think I just broke the code

So all you Apple haters, you have 11 more years until Steve reduces you all to ashes. No worries, though, that's more than enough time to see the light and repent.

Seriously thought, what was up with that pricing? I wonder what they were thinking there. If they were going for whimsy $669.69 would be a lot better.

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