One of the first Apple computers ever built recently sold at auction for a staggering €491,868 (~$630,000). The Apple I machine in question, one of around 200 or so that was hand-built by Steve Wozniak, now belongs to an anonymous Internet bidder.
As was the norm in Apple’s early days, some of the components used in the system were even signed by Wozniak himself. Unlike some of the other Apple I systems that have made it to auction, this unit was fully functional and reportedly in great condition. But even still, systems of this caliber aren’t particularly rare which makes it even more surprising that someone was willing to pay so much for it.
In fact, some collectors even own multiple Apple I computers, like Lonnie Mimms from Roswell, Georgia. Mimms owns two of Apple’s first production computers; one that still works (albeit with replacement components) and another with all-original parts that’s no longer functional. It is believed that only six Apple I systems are still in working condition today.
Experts believed the computer would probably sell for between €120,000 and €200,000 ($150,000 to $250,000) but nobody expected it to top the previous record price of $374,500 paid for a similar system at a Sotheby’s auction in New York earlier this year.
The Apple I was released in 1976 and sold for $666.66, sans keyboard, housing, display and power supply. Factoring in inflation, that figure equates to roughly $2,700 today – enough to buy a serious custom gaming system.
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