Update: The computer sold for $400k, though the buyer had to pay a total of $500k with the hefty 25% buyer’s premium,.

Yep, it’s time for another Apple-1 computer auction, and this one claims to be more special than most.

Of the 200 computers made, 50 of them were sold through ByteShop as bare boards that required customers to add their own cases, keyboards, monitors, and power supplies. Of these, just six ended up in casings made from Koa wood …

Auctioneers John Moran tell the story.

200 Apple-1 computers were designed by Steve Wozniak and assembled and tested by Steve Jobs, Patty Jobs (his sister), and Daniel Kottke in the Jobs’ home. 175 of them were sold for $666.66, a figure that catered to Wozniak’s love of repeating numbers. 50 of the 175 computers were sold to Paul Terrell, owner of ByteShop in Mountain View, California.

When Jobs delivered the 50 Magazine boxes each containing an Apple-1 kit, Paul Terrell was not happy. He anticipated 50 all-in-one units that could simply be plugged in by the consumer, an unheard-of concept at the time. Jobs defended his delivery by pointing out that each box included all necessary elements to compose the machine and further convinced Terrell that ByteShop could make a profit by selling keyboards, monitors, and power supplies within their store as an opportunity to upsell the product. 

The wooden case that houses this computer is made from Koa wood. In the 1970s, Koa wood was abundant and easily accessible, especially on the west coast because it was native to Hawaii, but due to cattle grazing and extensive logging, the Koa tree is now considered much rarer and more expensive. There are only six known examples of the Koa wood case in existence, and this unit is one of them. 

The Apple-1 Computer on offer has only had two owners. It was originally purchased by an electronics professor at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, who then sold it to his student in 1977. 

This Apple-1 has recently undergone an extensive authentication, restoration, and evaluation process by one of the foremost experts in the field, who inspected all components and generated a full condition report for the Apple-1. 

The lot is accompanied by a bound copy of the professional authentication and condition report and a proof of life DVD. 

This computer will be included in the official registry of Apple-1 computers by the name “Chaffey College Apple-1.” 

At the time of writing, the machine had attracted only one bid of $200K, but that’s likely to quickly change: the estimated final price is in the $400-600K range.

If you’re one of the few with the desire and funds to place a bid, you’ll need to prove it to the auctioneers.

To bid on this lot, a bid limit increase must be requested. New bidders may be asked to provide additional financial information including a deposit or proof of funds. Please contact Info@johnmoran.com to make bidding arrangements.

The rest of us have to settle for replica manuals and boards.

Rare as they are, one or two of the machines typically come up for auction each year.

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About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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