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Apple’s original computer expected to fetch more than $300K at auction

If buying a modern Mac doesn’t quite appeal to you, you could also try bidding on a piece of Apple history with the Apple-1. A fully functional Apple-1 will be up for auction in September by Boston-based RR Auction.

Expected to fetch more than $300,000, the RR Auction Apple-1 is described to be a later production model in 8.5/10 condition, and the PC will be sold as a set that includes the original Apple-1 board, the original Apple Cassette Interface (ACI), the original operational manual, two original Apple Cassette Interface manuals, a period surplus ASCII keyboard, a period “open frame” Sanyo 4205 video monitor, a new period-style power supply with original Apple-1 power cable connector, and period cassette interface cables. RR Auction’s model was expertly restored by Corey Cohen and the system was comprehensively tested for eight hours without any issues.

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Also known as the Apple Computer 1, the Apple-1 is a desktop that was designed by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. It was originally launched in 1976 as a bare-board designed for users to build their own PCs. To finance the production of the Apple-1, late Apple CEO Steve Jobs sold his VW Microbus and Wozniak sold his HP-65 calculator. The very first Apple-1 unit sold for $666.66, and Apple sold just 175 units.

Today, Apple has a market cap of more than $1 trillion, showing how far the company has grown. In addition to computers, Apple counts the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and the now-retired iPod, among its successes in the hardware space.

As a collector’s piece for PC enthusiasts, pricing varied widely for the Apple-1 at auction. At the low end, in 1999, the PC fetched just $50,000 at auction, according to Wikipedia, while a rare prototype sold for $815,0000 in a 2016 auction at the high end. Apple stopped production of the Apple-1 in 1977 when it launched the Apple II. To convince early adopters to upgrade, Apple offered trade-in discounts. When customers brought their Apple-1 units to trade in, Apple destroyed the boards, making the existence of functioning Apple-1 units very rare today, which explains why the expected auction price is so high. It’s estimated that only 60 units are left today.

Because the Apple-1 was created for enthusiasts, the RR Auction unit is notable in that it was not altered or modified in any way.

If the Apple-1’s price is too rich for your blood, you can also check out our Mac guide for a more modern PC experience.

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