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Apple-1 offered in £100,000 auction

Apple-1 offered in £100,000 auction

The Apple-1 auction includes a host of extras - including a signed letter from Steve Jobs to the original owner.

If you think that Apple's hardware commands a hefty price premium, you'll probably want to look away: an Apple-1 is expected to sell at auction for more than £100,000.

The machine, one of of a very small number of surviving machines hand-built by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and friends to meet initial demand for the $666.66 microcomputer, doesn't exactly stand up to a comparison with a Mac Pro - or even an iPad - featuring just 8KB of RAM and a somewhat dated 6502 microprocessor.

The fairly basic specifications are forgivable, however, when you take a look at the markings on the rear of the gadget: this Apple was built in 1976.

The retro machine is expected to sell for between £100,000 and £150,000 when the auction opens on the 23 November at Christie's King Street auction house in London. But a buyer will get a lot of extras if they choose to shell out on the device that started Apple's computing business.

As well as the machine itself, the auction includes a cassette interface card, a C-60 cassette containing a copy of the BASIC programming language, various manuals, circuit diagrams, and the original printed wrappers that the machine came in, along with the original receipt, made out to a salesman called Steven.

Perhaps more impressively for the true Apple aficionado, the auction includes a typed letter signed 'Steven Jobs,' addressed to the original owner of the machine.

Even if you're no particular Apple fan, the Apple-1 machine has an important place in the history of personal computing: it was the first machine sold with a fully assembled motherboard and it represented the first Plug-and-Play machine for enthusiasts wanting to enter the world of computing. This was despite the fact that buyers were still expected to supply their own keyboard, monitor, power supply, and case. Despite the bare-bones nature of the Apple-1, it was a significant step forward from the market leader at the time, the MITS Altair 8800 self-assembly microcomputer.

More information, and the option to place a bid if you're feeling flush this close to Christmas, is available over on the Christie's Lot Finder.

Are you pleased to see such a well-preserved piece of computing history come up for sale, or flabbergasted at the incredibly high estimate Christie's has placed on the lot? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

20 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Krikkit 12th November 2010, 14:31 Quote
Wow, that's a collector's wet dream.
DragunovHUN 12th November 2010, 14:32 Quote
But can it run Tetris?
jrs77 12th November 2010, 14:43 Quote
Damn... that's a nice piece of history conserved.

I kept my C64, C128d and Macintosh SE aswell for sentimental reasons :)
Ross1 12th November 2010, 14:57 Quote
Christies are selling an enigma machine in the same auction, which i find infinitely more interesting than an apple1.
new_world_order 12th November 2010, 15:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claave
A rare Apple-1 microcomputer, which kickstarted the PC revolution, has come up for auction.

Now that's a lousy price/performance ratio!
The_Beast 12th November 2010, 15:11 Quote
yakyb 12th November 2010, 15:45 Quote
it runs basic :)
cgthomas 12th November 2010, 17:29 Quote
Finally something that can run Crysis
kosch 12th November 2010, 17:35 Quote
You'll get some pro Microsoft nut buying it and then blowing it up in a public sacrifice or something along those lines.
SMIFFYDUDE 12th November 2010, 21:43 Quote
Including a signed letter by Jesus himself
Quote:
Originally Posted by kosch
You'll get some pro Microsoft nut buying it and then blowing it up in a public sacrifice or something along those lines.

Be fun to watch though.
Nikols 13th November 2010, 00:06 Quote
I heard if u hold it in ur left hand that only 1kb of ram works....
new_world_order 13th November 2010, 01:24 Quote
Quote:

For $5000 I could get a 5.0 GHz Intel Gulftown with 6 cores.

5.0 GHz Gulftown
Phoenixlight 13th November 2010, 15:34 Quote
I bet that beast of a machine could run pacman on enthusiast settings!
L2wis 13th November 2010, 19:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross1
Christies are selling an enigma machine in the same auction, which i find infinitely more interesting than an apple1.

I second that!
TSR2 13th November 2010, 19:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kosch
You'll get some pro Microsoft nut buying it and then blowing it up in a public sacrifice or something along those lines.

All the while moaning about the Apple tax.
Yemerich 14th November 2010, 11:27 Quote
Hmmm All these years the price is the same and apple still can't run crysis...
Gradius 14th November 2010, 12:33 Quote
What a price! Meanwhile, lots of people around the word are still starving to death.
GravitySmacked 14th November 2010, 21:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross1
Christies are selling an enigma machine in the same auction, which i find infinitely more interesting than an apple1.

Yep I have to agree with you. Still I'm not surprised at the interest in the Apple-1.
M_D_K 15th November 2010, 08:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradius
What a price! Meanwhile, lots of people around the word are still starving to death.
& buying a new GFX card for your computer or a new game to play rather then donating that money to a Charity is any different then in your eyes wasting £100k on a computer & before mentioning that giveing £30 to charity isn't really worth it compared too £100k doesn't really fly tbh every little helps.
Back on topic.

Would much Rather see this go to a Museum then a collector but like all things rare its supply and demand £100k bargain :), im sure you can spend that and get something alot less interesting, like a windows machine :p
leveller 16th November 2010, 09:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kosch
You'll get some pro Microsoft nut buying it and then blowing it up in a public sacrifice or something along those lines.

Will it blend?

:(
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