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An original Apple-1 computer was just sold for an unimaginable amount of money

An authenticated Apple-1 Computer prototype dated back to the mid-1970s has sold at auction in Boston for approximately $700,000, according to the Associated Press.

The PC is reported as one of the first built by Steve Wozniak, in conjunction with the Apple brand led by Steve Jobs in 1976, according to Notebookcheck.

An original Apple-1 computer in its wooden case.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The computer features 8KB of RAM, in addition to its interface cassette system and read/write capabilities, which were considered groundbreaking for its time. The prototype is the jumping point to the Apple-1 computer, which was released in April 1976.

“There is no Apple-1 without this board — it’s the holy grail of Steve Jobs and Apple memorabilia,” RR Auction executive vice president Bobby Livingston told AP.

The unidentified Bay Area collector who purchased the prototype paid $677,196 for the pre-build computer. Prior to that, the owner kept it for 30 years, having been gifted the computer by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Paul Terrell owner of The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California, one of the first personal computer stores in the world, gave a personal statement that Steve Jobs used the prototype computer to demonstrate the capabilities of the Apple-1 in 1976, the AP added.

Additionally, the RR Auction board was able to match Polaroid photographs Terrell took of the prototype in use in 1976. Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen authenticated the images and wrote a 13-page notarized report for the sale.

This Apple-1 computer prototype is not the only one to sell at RR Auction. In 2020, an Apple-1 model dated back to the 1980s sold for approximately $460,000 after being appraised for at least $500,000 on an episode of Pawn Stars. While the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop owner Rick Harrison did not accept the offer on the show, the functional computer sold at auction with a cassette, display case, keyboard kit, PSU, and other peripherals.

More recently, we’ve seen these vintage computers sell for upward of $500,000 in similar auctions, but $700,000 appears to be a new record.

Then again, there is currently an eBay listing of an Apple-1 computer with an asking price of $1.5 million. The listing states that it is a first for eBay and comes in its original Byte Shop KOA wood case.

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Fionna Agomuoh
Fionna Agomuoh is a technology journalist with over a decade of experience writing about various consumer electronics topics…
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