Apple-1:The World's Most Iconic Computer Goes Under the Hammer

Apple-1:The World's Most Iconic Computer Goes Under the Hammer

Apple-1:The World's Most Iconic Computer Goes Under the Hammer In July of 1976 something truly remarkable happened that took the technology world by storm. Two friends in a garage in San Francisco invented a little motherboard that would become known has the Apple-1 personal computer. Why is this important? Well, apart from changing the face of home based computers, there are only 8 known left in the world and one goes up for sale on Monday 20th March in Germany. It is expected to sell for around £262,000!


The Apple-1 was designed and hand built by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs had the idea of selling the computer. To start production, Jobs sold his VW Microbus for a few hundred dollars and Wozniak sold his HP-65 calculator for $500.

It was presented at the Homebrew Computer Club in California in July 1976. Steve Jobs arranged to sell 100 fully build computers at $500 a piece to The Byte Shop in California. They were paid $50,000 and delivered the product in 10 days.

The Apple-1 went on sale in July 1976 for a price of $666.66 because Wozniak liked "repeating digits" and the mark up on the wholesale price of $500.

So what does mean for Monday's auction at German auction team, Breker, where one will be going under the hammer. Well let's look at the numbers. There have been several Apple-1s sold on various sites and auction houses in the past. Below is a quick, but not inclusive, list of these and the price they went for.

  • 1999-$50.000 (auction)
  • 2009-$17,480 (Ebay)
  • 2010-$42,766 (Ebay) This was a unit belonging to early Apple Computer engineers Dick and Cliff Huston
  • 2010-£133,250 (Christie Auction House, London) This unit came with rare documents and packaging and a return label address with Steve Job's parents address attached
  • 2012-$515,000 (Auction Team Breker) This was a working Apple-1
  • 2016- $815,000 on 26th August 2016, the 40th anniversary of Apple Computers, the rarest Apple-1 in existence - an Apple-1 prototype made and built by Steve Jobs himself and dubbed the 'Holy Grail' of computers - was sold for $815,000 to winning bidders Glenn and Shannon Dellimore.

So I guess that only leaves one question? Do you have an Apple-1 sitting in your basement, attic or storage unit somewhere? It really still could be used for your children's University education!

Written by Jay Cook, Social Media & Communications Director. 16-03-17

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