Skip to main content

Apple 1 breaks auction record, goes for $671,400

One of what's thought to be only six working Apple 1 computers -- hand-built by Steve Wozniak -- flies out of a German auction house for a tidy sum. The last one went for $640,000.





One of what's believed to be only six still-working Apple 1 computers set a record at auction Saturday, selling for $671,400 in Germany.
The machine, built by Steve "The Woz" Wozniak in Steve Jobs' parents garage back in 1976, was sold along with the original owner's manual and a signed letter from Jobs to original owner Fred Hatfield.
Breker, the German auction house that handled the sale, sold another Apple 1 in December for $640,000, a substantial jump in price from the Apple 1 sold by Sotheby's in New York last June for $374,500.
(Credit: Breker)
Auctioner Uwe Breker said the appeal of the machine went far beyond the realm of geekery.
"It is a superb symbol of the American dream," he told The New York Times' Bits blog. "You have two college dropouts from California who pursued an idea and a dream, and that dream becomes one of the most admired, successful, and valuable companies in the world."
That can-do spirit is reflected in this brief description of the Apple 1's genesis, given in the Sotheby's notes to last June's auction (PDF):
 When Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs presented the Apple I Computer to the Homebrew Computer Club in 1976, it was dismissed by everyone but Paul Terrell, the owner of a chain of stores called Byte Shop. Terrell ordered 50 computers for $500 apiece, insisting that the circuit boards come fully assembled rather than as DIY kits similar to the Altair, and Jobs and Woz managed to produce the requisite computers in 30 days. They continued production, immediately creating 50 additional Apple 1's to sell to friends and an additional 100 to sell through vendors, at a retail price of $666.66, a number that garnered complaints among conservative Christians, but provided a lucrative 33 [percent] markup.
Let's see, 50 computers in 30 days -- that's about 1.67 Apple 1s per day. At today's prices, that would add up to about $1,121,238 for a day's work. Not too shabby.
Sotheby's estimates that another 44 Apple 1s exist, in addition to the 6 that still actually work.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Best tech gifts under $100 for Dad

Roku's speedy streamer is the best box yetThe good:The Roku 3's excellent new interface and faster processor makes it feel quicker and more responsive than any other streaming box. More than 750 channels are supported, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Pandora, MLB.TV, Amazon Cloud Player, and Vudu. It also has cross-platform search that scours several major TV and movie services to find content. And Roku's nifty new remote has a built-in headphone jack that lets you listen without disturbing others. The bad:There's still no official YouTube channel. Some services have an outdated interface on Roku compared to other streamers. The Apple TV still works better within the Apple ecosystem. And the Roku 3 isn't a great option if you're mostly looking to stream your personal digital media collection. The bottom line:The Roku 3 is the best streaming-video box yet, with tons of content sources, lightning-fast performance, and an innovative remote wit…

'Star Trek II' producer talks Ceti Eel, J.J. Abrams, and more (Q&A)

Robert Sallin, producer of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," shares his experience working on the film, looks at the future of "Trek," and dishes on whether that was Ricardo Montalban's real chest.

The release of "Star Trek Into Darkness" has not only spurred interest in the "Trek" world in general, but especially in its film daddy, the original Khan-as-villain movie "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." While the new film takes quite a few detours, it is full of homages to the earlier work. Let's look back to 1982. "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" had been released in 1979 and faced a poor critical reception. Paramount, the film's studio, was gun-shy after the movie nearly doubled its original budget, ending up with a $46 million price tag. Nonetheless, plans for a second movie plodded along. It's 30, 40 years later and we have new audiences. You can't keep dwelling on the old guys and the old things. It has…

Canon videos show off 70D's dual-pixel autofocus technology

It remains to be seen how well it works in the real world, but the new dual-pixel autofocus technology shows promise in Canon's promotional video about its latest SLR.


Canon wants to show off what its new EOS 70D camera can do when it comes to one persistent shortcoming in the digital photography revolution: autofocus. It's posted two videos -- a demonstration video called Handmade and a behind-the-scenes explanatory video about it -- designed to show what the new digital SLR can accomplish with its new Dual Pixel CMOS AF (DPA) technology. Check below to watch the videos. No doubt the autofocus technology won't work as smoothly in the real world as it does in these promotional videos with bright lighting, carefully arranged sets, and plenty of chances to shoot another take if things don't go right at first. But they're worth watching to at least get a flavor of what's possible and to see a reasonably broad selection of the 103 Canon lenses the company says DPA …