An auction for a rare Apple-1 computer will begin on September 25. The fully-operational computer is one of approximately 70 Apple-1 models that remain of the original 200 built by Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976. The sale will be conducted by RR Auction.
Executive vice president at RR Auction, Bobby Livingston, says that the Apple-1 originates from a person who purchased it at The Byte Shop, the store where Jobs and Wozniak originally sold the computers for $666.66. The owner learned BASIC on the computer, wrote small programs, and decided to hold onto the Apple-1 after it became outdated, “realizing it could one day be a piece of computing history.” He then tried to sell the Apple-1 to Wozniak in 1982 for $10,000, which “went unanswered.”
The auction will begin at $50,000, and is expected to end with a sale for between $300,000 and $400,000.
The set includes:
• original Apple-1 board
• original Apple Cassette Interface (ACI)
• original Apple-1 Operation Manual
• two original Apple Cassette Interface manuals
• a period surplus ASCII keyboard
• a period ‘open frame’ Sanyo 4205 video monitor
• a new period-style power supply with original Apple-1 power cable and connector
• period cassette interface cables
This Apple-1 computer was restored to its original, operational state in June 2018 by Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen, and a video of it running and functioning is available upon request. A comprehensive, technical condition report prepared by Cohen is available to qualified bidders; he evaluates the current condition of the unit as 8.5/10. The most remarkable aspect of this Apple-1 computer is that it is documented to be fully operational: the system was operated without fault for approximately eight hours in a comprehensive test.
This is the latest of a few Apple-1 computers that have gone up for auction in the past few years. The highest price paid so far was the $815,000 paid for a “Celebration” Apple-1, considered rare due to its blank “green” PCB board that was never sold to the public. Other, more common units have sold for as little as $130,000.
The auction is being promoted by a unique digital “DNA” video, available for viewing on Vimeo.
Additionally, the auction is being promoted with a unique digital “DNA” scan, performed by Invaluable with technology built by Artmyn. This technology scans artwork and objects like the Apple-1, capturing “tens of thousands of photographs” using various light sources and spectrums, including UV lights. The scan generates a “5D interactive file” and an immersive video that lets owners, auction houses, consignors, and buyers see greatly detailed angles, views, and textures for the scanned objects.
The auction for the Apple-1 kicks off at 1 p.m. on September 25, 2018 at WeWorks in Boston.