Working Apple-1 sold at auction by original owner for $101K in Germany

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2017
One of the last surviving Apple-1 computers in full working order has sold in Germany for a bid price of $101,325 -- far lower than expected for the collectible.




German auction house Team Breker, which specializes in technical antiques, noted the Apple-1 was being consigned by its original owner, an unidentified computer engineer from Berkeley, California. Said to be the "best-preserved example of an Apple-1 computer to have appeared on the market," the computer was sold in full working condition, and is believed to be one of only eight remaining working units left in existence.

A spokesperson for the auctioneer advises it is 14th on Mike Willegal's Apple-1 registry, with serial number 01-0073 bearing the original NTI sign.

The documents accompanying the Apple-1 included the original manual, complete with the primary logo, circuit diagrams, and a receipt for the motherboard and cassette interface. An original letter from Apple customer care was also provided, advising the customer could not upgrade to the Apple-II.

Aside from original documentation, the paperwork also included a collection of notes from telephone calls with Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1977.

The Apple-1 was estimated to sell for between $190,000 and $320,000. After fees are added to the bid price of $101,325, the purchaser will dole out $149,390 for the package.

In 2016, a "Celebration" motherboard believed to be one of the first hand-built prototypes for the Apple-1 sold for $815,000. In 2014, a working Apple-1 was auctioned for $365,000, falling short of estimates between $400,000 and $600,000, while a 2013 auction for an Apple-1 signed by Steve Wozniak fetched $671,000.

The current record for the highest price paid at auction for an Apple-1 is $905,000, acquired by The Henry Ford organization in late 2014.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,336member
    Cue the trolls bemoaning Apple as selling antiquated hardware at overhyped prices...
    Solianomewatto_cobraGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 2 of 4
    Many incorrect things in this story. 

    First there are about 16 working units not 8.  I have worked on restoring 8 myself for different owners and I know of others that have working units that I didn't work on.  

    Second this was the worst condition Apple-1 that has come up for auction in the past few years, not the best as the story says,  the Henry Ford unit was nearly perfect and original.  There is rework on the back of this one, replaced sockets and lots of modifications in the prototype area and I know there were power issues with the original supply and 5300uf cap.  I declined to restore this unit as too many board level parts would need to be replaced and it would ruin the originally to get it running. 

    Third, unlike the higher price units that sold, this one has a modern power supply and an Apple II keyboard, not a correct keyboard from 1976.   It also didn't have a extras like an original byte shop wooden case. 

    I did expect this this unit to sell for the low side about $200k but there are enough better condition units out there for collectors that there wasn't much demand for this one so it went on the very low side.  

    Cheers,
    Corey
    bloggerblogbaconstangrandominternetpersoncornchipwonkothesanebestkeptsecretfotoformatwaverboytechprod1gywilliamh
  • Reply 3 of 4
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,263member
    I hope that Woz kept one of these for himself...
    ...  A good one...
  • Reply 4 of 4
    zer0her0zer0her0 Posts: 23member
    Many incorrect things in this story. 

    First there are about 16 working units not 8.  I have worked on restoring 8 myself for different owners and I know of others that have working units that I didn't work on.  

    Second this was the worst condition Apple-1 that has come up for auction in the past few years, not the best as the story says,  the Henry Ford unit was nearly perfect and original.  There is rework on the back of this one, replaced sockets and lots of modifications in the prototype area and I know there were power issues with the original supply and 5300uf cap.  I declined to restore this unit as too many board level parts would need to be replaced and it would ruin the originally to get it running. 

    Third, unlike the higher price units that sold, this one has a modern power supply and an Apple II keyboard, not a correct keyboard from 1976.   It also didn't have a extras like an original byte shop wooden case. 

    I did expect this this unit to sell for the low side about $200k but there are enough better condition units out there for collectors that there wasn't much demand for this one so it went on the very low side.  

    Cheers,
    Corey
    Thanks for the info that's truly informative and more then I've seen anywhere else, on both this specific model as well as the others out there.
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