In the same week that new data showed the PC market experiencing its longest-ever duration of decline, one of the machines that got the industry rolling was auctioned off at Christie’s for a whopping $387,750, setting a new record for an online-only sale at the auction house.
The computer is an Apple-1, which, as its name suggests, was the Cupertino company’s very first machine. It was built with Steve Wozniak’s and Steve Job’s own fair hands way back in 1976 and sold for $666.66 (you don’t see pricing like that anymore).
The auctioned machine was bought Tuesday by Italian collectibles company Bolaffi after being brought to auction by a retired school psychologist in California.
According to Christie’s, the auctioned machine, which didn’t include a monitor, appears to be one of the first 25 Apple-1 computers ever made, assembled not only in America but in Steve Jobs’ garage.
For its money, Bolaffi will have received an Apple-1 motherboard, an old keyboard (not originally sold with the computer), a couple of manuals and a photograph of Wozniak and Jobs signed by Wozniak. To the layman, it might look like a bunch of wires, microchips, and capacitors (actually, that’s essentially what it is), but to those that fork out spectacular amounts of cash for such objects, this is an iconic piece of computing history, the seed which grew into one of the biggest tech companies on the planet.
Of the roughly 200 units made by Wozniak and Jobs, around 50 are thought to still be in existence, with only six believed to be in proper working condition.
Just two months ago, an Asia-based Apple fanboy set a new record for an Apple-1 sale with a winning bid of $671,400 at an auction in Germany.