First Apple computer prototype is up for auction, and the opening bid is $230,000.

by | Sep 22, 2023

An auction is being held for a prototype of the first Apple-1 computer. It was reportedly used to obtain Apple’s first significant order.

The earliest Apple desktop computer, the Apple-1 prototype, is presently up for auction at the auction house RR Auction. Steve Wozniak, a co-founder of Apple, soldered it by hand in 1976. One of just six Koa wood Apple-1 cases that are known to exist is included with this model. There have only ever been two owners. According to the auction description, the initial owner was an electronics professor at Chaffey College in California who sold it to one of his pupils in 1977 for $650. This device’s former ownership is noted in the official Apple-1 computer registry as “Chaffey College Apple-1.”

According to Corey Cohen, an Apple-1 specialist, “this is essentially of the holy grail for antique electronics and computer tech enthusiasts.” Approximately 60 Apple-1 computers still exist, but only 20 of them are operational, according to Cohen, who also told the Times.

According to the RRAUCTION.com (the advertising website), the computer was expected to get a price of between $400,000 and $600,000.

In the past, 175 of the machines were sold for $666.66, which was chosen in consideration of Wozniak’s penchant for repeating numbers. According to the description, 50 of them were sold to Paul Terrell, the owner of Byte Shop, one of the earliest computer retailers in history.

According to the advertisement, the computer “just underwent a rigorous authentication, repair, and evaluation procedure by one of the leading specialists in the industry,” and it is accompanied by documentation of expert verification.

With almost a month until the auction concludes on August 18 the price stood at approximately $230,000 as of Friday morning. Bidding started on Wednesday.

According to the auction description, when the Apple founders demonstrated the device to computer store owner Paul Terrell in 1976, they utilised the prototype to land their first significant order. According to the advertisement, this prototype has “a crack that runs from close to the power supply region” and other minor damage.

However, given the rarity of the item and past auction results, the eventual cost may be close to $500,000. A unique Apple-1 computer that was created at Jobs’ house sold at auction for $400,000 last year. Only 200 of Wozniak’s designs were made. In London in 2020, a second Apple-1 was sold for $470,000.

The Apple-1 prototype spent many years on the “Apple Garage” site, according to the listing. “Few Apple relics could be deemed as rare, early, or significant as this Apple-1 prototype,” it claimed.