Money Matters - Simplified

Apple-1 sold by Steve Jobs from parents' garage to be auctioned

Apple-1 is being offered along with its original packing, instruction manual and a letter signed by Jobs who still heads the company.

Christie’s auction house in London will put under hammer the first computer sold by Apple’s founder, Steve jobs from his parents’ garage.

Apple-1, which was originally sold for $666, is estimated to fetch anything ranging from $160,000 to $250,000.

Originally, 200 pieces of Apple-1 were sold in 1976 and only a few are available today. These are already a collectors’ item as only 30 to 40 machines are found throughout. The last Apple I was reportedly sold in 1996 when it received $50,000.

These were hand made by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniac and its price of $666.66 was also a result of his obsession with similar numbers. Only 30 to 50 pieces are expected to be in existence.

These computers had a memory of 8K which is insufficient for even storing a single song.

Growing interest in early computing technology
The enthusiasm about the auction highlights the growing interest in preliminary computer technology and also development that computer technology has witnessed over the last thirty years.

Museums and collectors are keen on getting their hand on these examples of primary computing.

In October, this year, the owner of Mac Museum sold vintage Macs on eBay for $10,000 a piece. Earlier in 2008, a worker of Apple sold the tool box and the original trade show sign of the company.

Few Apple-1 computers available
Though Apple-1 was a fully pre-assembled computer, it did not come with a key board or a monitor.

Apple-1 is being offered along with its original packing, instruction manual and a letter signed by Jobs who still heads the company.

The return address on the packaging shows that it was sent from the garage of Jobs’ parents.

It will also have the additional cassette interface which enabled read-write capacity. The cassette interface cost an extra $75 at that time.

Julian Wilson, of Christie’s said, “Before Apple-1 you would have to put together your own motherboard and that would need soldering skills. This one comes with packaging and manuals and a letter by Steve Jobs in which he appears to tell the users about what monitors and keyboards are best to use.”

Wilson said that finding one in such a condition is rare.