Home / Business / Original working Apple-I computer fetches $375,000 at auction

Original working Apple-I computer fetches $375,000 at auction

Original working Apple-I computer fetches $375,000 at auction

The machine was designed by Steve Wozniak, known as Woz, the co-founder of Apple.


His business partner, Steve Jobs, convinced him to package and sell the machine – it went on sale in 1976 for $666.66.


It is one of only a handful of fully-functioning models known to be in existence today.

“The Apple-I was ghastly underpowered compared to the Apple-II,” said Mr Wozniak in an email to the BBC on Tuesday.


“But this Apple-I computer showed the world the formula for an affordable USEFUL computer.”


‘Behave like it’s 1976’


The auction took place in Boston, Massachusetts, on Tuesday. The buyer was an “anonymous businessman” who placed his bid online.


It is estimated that Mr Wozniak and Mr Jobs sold around 200 Apple-I computers in just under a year, thanks to a deal with a local computing store in Palo Alto, California.


According to an online registry – not affiliated with Apple – there are just 79 of the computers still around.


“It’s a marvellous piece – and this one works!” said Bobby Livingston, of RR Auctions.



“Our experts tell us that there might be 15 in the world that work properly. You can power this thing up and behave like it’s 1976. It’s pretty fantastic.”


The Apple-I holds a place in technology history as the first computer to not require any assembly, other than to plug in a monitor and keyboard.


Award for Ive

The Apple-I provided just a glimpse of what was to come. Mr Wozniak’s follow up, the Apple-II range, went on to sell more than 5 million units, putting Apple on its course to become the most valuable company in US history.


In August, Apple’s value surpassed $1tn for the first time, spurred by sales of the iPhone.


British designer Sir Jony Ive, who along with Mr Jobs designed the iPhone, was announced on Tuesday as the recipient of the Professor Hawking Fellowship by the Cambridge Union.


The fellowship programme was set up in 2017 to highlight the legacy of Prof Stephen Hawking, who died in March.


As part of the fellowship, Sir Jony will address the Cambridge Union at a date not yet made public.


“The Hawking Committee are of the opinion that Sir Jony’s work and patents have played a pivotal role in shaping Apple’s successes over the last two decades,” the Cambridge Union said.


“His undoubted technological expertise, coupled with his remarkable role in championing elegant & innovative design on a global stage have made Sir Jony uniquely qualified to receive this Fellowship.”