Working Apple I nets record-smashing $640,000 at German auction

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A working example of Apple's first computer was sold by German auction house Team Breker in November for $640,000, breaking the previous Apple I record selling price of $374,500 set by Sotheby's in June.



As noted by Classic Computing, the German sale nearly doubled the similar Apple I auction held by Sotheby's in New York, and is the second such high-profile sale for the legacy computer seen in the last two months. Prior to the record-breaking November deal, Christie's put a non-working Apple I motherboard on the block in the UK, but bids failed to surpass the ?50,000 reserve price.

As Apple continues to expand its share of the consumer market, the company's first products have become more collectible and are fetching increasingly large sums at auction. In June, a functioning version of the 1976 Apple I motherboard sold for $374,500, beating its estimated sales price of $120,000 to $180,000. Also included in that auction was an unrelated note written by Apple cofounder Steve Jobs during his time at Atari. The handwritten letter sold for $27,500.

Classic Computing sat down with avid collector Lonnie Mimms, who has two Apple I units amongst his many machines, one a non-working example with all-original parts and a second working model with replaced components.

"The Apple 1, because of Apple's status now in the world, is the beginning of that company," Mimms explained. "For corporate America and for the computer industry, there isn't anything more iconic than that in existence."

The most recent sales follow one of the first high-profile Apple I auctions, which managed to net $174,000 in 2010.

Only 200 Apple I computers were made, each hand-built by Steve Wozniak, and only six of the estimated 50 intact examples are believed to be in working condition. When the product was first released in 1976, it sold for $666.66 without power supply, display, keyboard or housing.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,493member
    So Apple computers don't have to be shiny and pretty to justify their higher price?? /s
  • Reply 2 of 17
    maltzmaltz Posts: 127member
    Apple I sells for 640k. heh.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I wonder how much your stock would be if you invested (up to) $666.66 in AAPL when the company became public in December 1980?

    edit: I'm seeing a starting stock price of $0.449 (which is not the lowest). $666.66 ÷ $0.449 = 1,484.77 shares which I'll generally just round up to 1,485 since I'm not including sales tax. 1,485 x $541.39 = $803,964.15, or 25% higher than this auction price.
  • Reply 4 of 17


    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

    I wonder how much your stock would be if you invested (up to) $666.66 in AAPL when the company became public in December 1980?

    edit: I'm seeing a starting stock price of $0.449 (which is not the lowest). $666.66 ÷ $0.449 = 1,484.77 shares which I'll generally just round up to 1,485 since I'm not including sales tax. 1,485 x $541.39 = $803,964.15, or 25% higher than this auction price.


     


    I remember reading an article that answered that very question. No idea what the answer was or where the article was. I'll try to find it.


     


    Did you take into account splits?


     


    EDIT: Here's a Yahoo! Answers (yeah, I know, sorry) page that sort of answers this. But it's from 2006! So imagine how much higher the answer is now!

  • Reply 5 of 17
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I remember reading an article that answered that very question. No idea what the answer was or where the article was. I'll try to find it.

    Did you take into account splits?

    I didn't. I assumed that Google's stock prices takes that into account hence the price being just 45¢.
  • Reply 6 of 17
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,657member
    Not to be outdone, Samsung announced an original Galaxy I sold for $.01 at a recent auction.
  • Reply 7 of 17


    I'll have to keep an eye out for one at Goodwill

  • Reply 8 of 17
    It really should have sold for $666,000
  • Reply 9 of 17
    Thanks Mikey! I hope everyone will take a look at my article with pictures of Lonnie Mimms' two Apple 1s, plus some of his huge private computer collection. http://www.classiccomputing.com/CC/Blog/Blog.html
  • Reply 10 of 17
    I wonder what an original Macintosh is worth? I had one until my dad took it to the electronics recycler a couple of years ago.
  • Reply 11 of 17


    You mean it didn't sell for $666,666.66?

  • Reply 12 of 17


    $640,000. All Apple tax.


     


    /s

  • Reply 13 of 17


    This looks a lot easier to upgrade than the current iMac

  • Reply 14 of 17


    On top of the $640,000 the new owner is going to have to factor in a new keyboard, power supply, motherboard, screen, and maybe a new tape deck, that's going to bring the final price up by a few grand at least.

  • Reply 15 of 17
    They invented BYODKM back in 1978!
  • Reply 16 of 17


    That is why people buying them.

  • Reply 17 of 17
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    In related news, one of the first Dell computers sold for $1.49 at the local Goodwill store.
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