Incredibly rare Chaffey College Apple-1 sold at auction for $ 500,000

Many Apple fans know that the company’s first product was the Apple-1 personal computer. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs originally assembled the machines in the garage in 1976. Now one unit in their early 200 series, known as “Chaffey College Apple-1” because its first owner taught there, was sold at auction for $ 500,000.

The company that offered the auction on November 9, John Moran Auctioneers, estimated the value of the machine at 400,000 to 600,000 dollars. It is one of 60 Apple-1 machines that still exist.

The machine, rated in excellent condition and in good condition, contains original parts that are correct for the period. These include the motherboard, monitor, keyboard, two cassettes, three wires, and a Xerox copy of the original user manual.

The auction for the Apple-1 (Lot 2063) was part of a sale of post-war and contemporary art and auction house design. The buyer remained anonymous. Their winning bid of $ 400,000 became the cost of $ 500,000 with the added auction house fee. That’s 750 times more than a computer sold in the 1970s.

However, sales are not close to the record for Apple-1. Bonhams auction house sold one for $ 905,000 in 2014.

The famous history of Apple-1

The first version of the company’s personal computer made by Steve Wozniak essentially consisted of a motherboard and a manual. The instructions indicated which components should be purchased to assemble and use the machine.

Wozniak considered making computer construction instructions available free of charge to anyone who had the patience to make them themselves. But Steve Jobs convinced him to put the motherboard and its connectors in a magazine box and sell them as a kit.

And so Wozniak, Jobs, and the skeleton team made 200 Apple-1 computers by hand in a garage that belonged to Jobs ’parents. The emerging company sold 175 of them for $ 666.66, a figure that satisfied Wozniak’s love of repeating numbers. Fifty of those 175 computers belonged to Paul Terrell, owner of the Byte Shop in Mountain View, California.

The birth of Apple sales

But when Jobs delivered 50 boxes containing Apple-1 kits, Terrell was not happy. It envisioned 50 all-in-one units that customers could easily plug in – an unheard of concept at the time.

Jobs, always a marketing expert, pointed out that each box contains all the necessary elements for assembling a machine. He then further convinced Terrell that he could make a profit by selling keyboards, monitors and power supplies in their store as a way to increase sales of the Apple-1.

Only 6 Apple-1 computers have a leather case

The wooden box containing the Chaffey College Apple-1 is made of koa wood in very good condition. In the 1970s, the koe tree, native to Hawaii, was abundant on the west coast. But over time, Koa became rarer and more expensive. This computer includes one of only six known examples of koa wooden box that exists.

Two previous owners

Only two people owned Chaffey College Apple-1 – an unnamed electronics professor from the school who bought it new and a student to whom he soon sold it. The professor was excited to get his hands on the next insanely great product, the Apple II (sounds familiar, to Apple fans?).

“I bought this second-hand from the original owner in 1977,” said former student Angela Bryant. “He was a teacher at Chaffey College, and I attended his programming course. He was excited to buy an Apple-II and sell it to me for about $ 650. Of course, no one knew it would become a collector’s item. “

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Naveen Kumar

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