Earlier this year, we told you about a functioning Apple-1 computer that would go up for auction in Germany on May 20th. As planned, the auction took place yesterday and brought in $130,000, far less than initial expectations…
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At the time of the auction announcement, experts were anticipating the Apple-1 to go for around $320,000, meaning there was a big gap between expectations and what ended up being the case. The auction was won by a German engineer who collects old computers.
German auctioneer Team Breker advertised that this Apple-1 was “the best preserved example of an Apple-1 computer to appear on the market.” The machine was said to be in full working order and include original operation documents, circuit diagrams, and purported notes of telephone calls between Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1977.
The original owner of the Apple-1 explained that he bought the machine in 1976 and still had the receipts for it (via News24).
“(The Apple 1) was one of the first opportunities for someone to possess a real computer. I’d been working with computers for a while but they were huge,” said original owner John J Dryden, who bought the Apple in 1976.
While this Apple-1 missed its own expectations in terms of selling price, it also sold for far less than other Apple-1 models have. In 2014, a working Apple-1 was auctioned for $365,000, while the year prior a model signed by Wozniak went for $671,000. Another unit was auctioned in 2015 and expected to sell for over half a million dollars. Most impressively, a special “Celebration” edition Apple-1 fetched $815,000 in auction, though falling short of lofty $1 million estimates.
Some attribute the decline in Apple-1 to prices to them falling back to normal after a spike following the death of Steve Jobs. Nevertheless, there are believed to be only 8 working Apple-1 machines in the world today, making this an incredible piece of memorabilia.