A rare Apple-1 computer sold for a small fortune at auction

A prototype computer “Apple-1”, which would have been used by Steve Jobs, the founder of the apple brand, was sold for nearly 700,000 dollars, reports Associated Press on August 19, relayed by Mercury News. Because this ancestor of the MacBook is a small piece of history whose rarity is eagerly sought after by collectors. With its 8 KB of RAM, its system of interface cassettes with reading and writing capabilities, and a frame that seems to be partly made of wood, the device has everything of a collector’s item. Especially since it will have to be repaired to try to turn it back on: the printed circuit would have been broken, the Apple-1 having stayed for years in a cupboard. It would have been built by Steve Wozniak and was used by Steve Jobs to try at all costs to convince the Mountain View computer store to sell Apple brand products in… 1976.

The company founded by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs is said to have built a total of only 200 Apple-1s, all hand-assembled at Jobs, most of which sold at the time for $666.66. At the time, the Apple-1 were among the first models of personal computers already assembled (with the components already soldered on the motherboard in particular) but they were often sold without a case or keyboard. The device put on sale in August 2022 would have been authenticated by an expert: it would correspond to the first Polaroid photographs taken of the prototype in 1976. If the technical capabilities of the prototype are something to smile about today, they have been noted by collectors which upped the ante. The lucky winner is a Bay Area collector who wishes to remain anonymous, offering $677,196 to acquire the computer. For Bobby Livingston, the vice-president of the American auction house, RR Auction “there would have been no Apple without this prototype. It is the Holy Grail of memories of Steve Jobs and Apple” , he enthused. Every time Apple’s first products are auctioned, bids soar.

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