An original Apple-1 computer has sold for a record price at auction, with the classic tech making $905,000 after being snapped up by a museum. The computer, which was one of just fifty made by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs back in 1976 as they set up Apple in Jobs’ garage, was expected to sell for around half the final hammer price, but the Henry Ford Museum finally won a bidding battle with another, unnamed buyer at Bonhams auction house in New York City.
While the final bidding came down to those two, the lot had been sought after by a large number of people. According to Bonhams New York, hundreds of parties placed bids, mostly from the US and Europe.
At stake was not only the Apple-1 motherboard itself, described as being in “outstanding” condition, but a vintage keyboard with pre-7400 series military spec chips. It was paired with a vintage Sanyo monitor along with a custom vintage power supply in a wooden box
Two tape-decks for data were also included, alongside the first newsletter “Poke-Apple”, dating back to February 1979, from the Cincinnati AppleSiders. A video recording of Steve Wozniak’s 1980 “Applevention” keynote speech was also thrown in.
Originally known as the Apple Computer, the Apple-1 was Jobs and Wozniak’s first step in creating the now-famous company.
While Apple may not currently have any problems funding its production lines, back in 1976 the two men were forced to sell Jobs’ VW Microbus and Wozniak’s HP-65 scientific calculator in order to finance the hand-built machines.
It was sold for $666.66, though users had to supply a case, power supply, keyboard, display, and other parts in order to actually use it: similar, in part at least, to the Mac mini today.