Rare customized Apple-1 to go up for auction, could top $500,000 in bids

Posted:
in General Discussion
An unusual Apple-1 will appear in a Christie's auction on June 15, special not just for being in working order, but for the customizations made by its initial owner.




The unit not only has a green metal casing, but 12 kilobytes of RAM -- three times the original amount, Christie's said. Also added is a 1702 EPROM (erasable programmable read-only memory) chip, which allows the computer to run programs immediately after booting instead of waiting for them to be shuttled into RAM.

The value of the machine is estimated between $300,000 and $500,000. Bidding could easily surpass that amount, given other auctions in recent years -- in 2014, another Apple-1 sold for $905,000. Back in 1976 the product sold for $666.66.




Only about 200 Apple-1s were ever built, assembled initially by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and others in Jobs's family home. Buyers were expected to supply their own casing, monitor, keyboard, and power supply, but even a pre-assembled motherboard was an advantage at the time.

Most Apple-1 units have since been destroyed, stopped working, or ended up in public collections, such as the Smithsonian Museum of Art. A quarter of the original 200 exist in any form.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member
    I would think that customizations would significantly lower the value. If the owner of a renaissance painting added customizations the value would tank. It's not the original.  
  • Reply 2 of 18
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 894member
    jd_in_sb said:
    I would think that customizations would significantly lower the value. If the owner of a renaissance painting added customizations the value would tank. It's not the original.  
    This isn't a painting. 
    tallest skil
  • Reply 3 of 18
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    jd_in_sb said:
    I would think that customizations would significantly lower the value. If the owner of a renaissance painting added customizations the value would tank. It's not the original.  
    You should tell that to Falcon Northwest as you try to barter them down from the base price as you add customizations to their BTO models.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    jd_in_sb said:
    I would think that customizations would significantly lower the value. If the owner of a renaissance painting added customizations the value would tank. It's not the original.  
    You missed the part where one sold off $905,000 so this one is worth somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 of that one.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    The last one sold in Germany last month for $125,000 which was way below the expected price.  
  • Reply 6 of 18
    larryalarrya Posts: 535member
    I became preoccupied with all the socketed ICs pictured. What a different time!  Pretty easy to replace and upgrade back then. 
  • Reply 7 of 18
    joekewejoekewe Posts: 24member
    larrya said:
    I became preoccupied with all the socketed ICs pictured. What a different time!  Pretty easy to replace and upgrade back then. 
    Usually ICs were socketed because the design wasn't finalized, components like RAM were improving faster than circuit board production, or the company (i.e. Apple) couldn't afford enough components to stuff all of their production run. This allowed them to build a reasonable minimum quantity of boards, without having to pay for expensive components until they shipped. The happy side-effect was that users could easily upgrade ICs themselves. The negative side-effect was less reliable boards (socketed vs. soldered components).
  • Reply 8 of 18
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 894member
    joekewe said:
    larrya said:
    I became preoccupied with all the socketed ICs pictured. What a different time!  Pretty easy to replace and upgrade back then. 
    Usually ICs were socketed because the design wasn't finalized, components like RAM were improving faster than circuit board production, or the company (i.e. Apple) couldn't afford enough components to stuff all of their production run. This allowed them to build a reasonable minimum quantity of boards, without having to pay for expensive components until they shipped. The happy side-effect was that users could easily upgrade ICs themselves. The negative side-effect was less reliable boards (socketed vs. soldered components).
    Wait, there is a negative side effect to giving users unfettered upgradability? Say it ain't so! I thought the knuckle-draggers in this forum were on a crusade to bring back sockets for upgrades to all tech gear. 
    pscooter63
  • Reply 9 of 18
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 857member
    I wonder how much I can get for my original 1984 Macintosh.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    steveausteveau Posts: 204member
    bluefire1 said:
    I wonder how much I can get for my original 1984 Macintosh.
    From the TurboFuture website: M0001 Complete Unit in Mint Condition: Up to $2,700, in Working Condition: Up to $650, or Broken: $20 -$35 or break out Parts and Components to a value of $100 - 300 Most Valuable Component: Internal Floppy Drive (Note: the grease originally used to lubricate the internal floppy drive may solidify after 30 years of non-use, rendering the drive useless. Soaking the drive in an acetone bath overnight will restore the drive to working order). How much did it cost you, back in 1984?
  • Reply 11 of 18
    xixoxixo Posts: 417member
    but... will it blend?
  • Reply 12 of 18
    steveausteveau Posts: 204member
    joekewe said:
    larrya said:
    I became preoccupied with all the socketed ICs pictured. What a different time!  Pretty easy to replace and upgrade back then. 
    Usually ICs were socketed because the design wasn't finalized, components like RAM were improving faster than circuit board production, or the company (i.e. Apple) couldn't afford enough components to stuff all of their production run. This allowed them to build a reasonable minimum quantity of boards, without having to pay for expensive components until they shipped. The happy side-effect was that users could easily upgrade ICs themselves. The negative side-effect was less reliable boards (socketed vs. soldered components).
    When I bought my first computer, an Apple ][, I had to upgrade to an 80 column card, which involved lifting an IC, inserting a carrier that I'd soldered the card I/O to and the re inserting the IC. Fun memories, but I'd much rather buy off the shelf stuff that "just works".
    pscooter63randominternetperson
  • Reply 13 of 18
    xixoxixo Posts: 417member
    steveau said:
    bluefire1 said:
    I wonder how much I can get for my original 1984 Macintosh.
    From the TurboFuture website: M0001 Complete Unit in Mint Condition: Up to $2,700, in Working Condition: Up to $650, or Broken: $20 -$35 or break out Parts and Components to a value of $100 - 300 Most Valuable Component: Internal Floppy Drive (Note: the grease originally used to lubricate the internal floppy drive may solidify after 30 years of non-use, rendering the drive useless. Soaking the drive in an acetone bath overnight will restore the drive to working order). How much did it cost you, back in 1984?

    $2,495 for the system (mac write & mac paint bundled)
    $595 for imagewriter printer, $29 for the cable
    I believe the external floppy drive was $495
    box of 400k floppies: $50
    external modem: $295
    mac draw $195
    mac project $195
    canvas carry bag: $125
    pride of ownership: priceless

    it never failed to blow the mind of anyone who saw it running
    edited June 2017 pscooter63randominternetperson
  • Reply 14 of 18
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,493member
    bluefire1 said:
    I wonder how much I can get for my original 1984 Macintosh.
    I wish I still had mine! Many a night I wasted on Dyleks.

    And of course, at the time there was nothing, nothing like it.  I can't recall how much I paid in early 1985. I think it was about AUD$2500
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 15 of 18
    krawallkrawall Posts: 155member
    Apart of the fact that I also think that it should be lower in value because it was tempered with, I wonder why this is being reported at all. 
  • Reply 16 of 18
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,493member
    Tempered? Yeah, I like a well behaved computer too.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,414member
    jd_in_sb said:
    I would think that customizations would significantly lower the value. If the owner of a renaissance painting added customizations the value would tank. It's not the original.  

    Actual when this was built and sold the whole idea it was design so that someone could do exactly this.
    jd_in_sb said:
    I would think that customizations would significantly lower the value. If the owner of a renaissance painting added customizations the value would tank. It's not the original.  
    You missed the part where one sold off $905,000 so this one is worth somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 of that one.


    I am no expert on this, but it hard to say how much it would go for. It could depend on the history of this unit and who might have originally owned them and why the unit was used for. I think the one that sold for $900K also had all the documentation. Also not clear why the one from Germany sold for less.

    bluefire1 said:
    I wonder how much I can get for my original 1984 Macintosh.

    not much I have one and no one seem to want them.
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 18 of 18
    shaminoshamino Posts: 406member
    When you're talking about collectables, the value is going to be what others think of it.  Modifications may raise or lower the value depending on what buyers think of the modifications.

    In a case like this, where the basic design is unchanged, but with a few fairly obvious hobbyist upgrades (more RAM, EPROM), it could go either way.  Someone looking to own a museum piece may think it lowers the value.  Someone who is more interested in bragging rights, and may actually turn it on from time to time, may find that these changes increase the value.

    FWIW, I've a Mac SE at home.  I've upgraded it several times over the years.  The SE on my desk has two 1.44M floppy drives [i]and[/i] an internal 200M hard drive (upgraded from the original 30M drive.)  It also has an internal Ethernet board (Asante MacCon SE+).  Someone collecting Macs for a museum might consider my upgrades to be value-destroying.  On the other hand, plenty of friends, upon seeing it, have said "that's really cool" and really like these upgrades.  If it would ever go up for auction (assuming an SE would ever have collector's value), those upgrades might be good or bad depending on what kind of collector is in the audience.
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