Apple 1 Sells for $500,000
Written by Lucy Black   
Sunday, 14 November 2021

The "Chaffey College Apple 1", so called because its first owner was an electronics professor there, recently sold at auction for $500,000. As well as being one of the early run of 200 units, it is one of only six known examples to have a case made from koa wood. 

apple1moran1

The computer has only had two previous owners and was put on sale by Angela Bryant who explained:

“I purchased this used from the original owner in 1977. He was a teacher at Chaffey College, and I was taking his programming course. He was excited to buy the Apple-II and sold me this for about $650. Of course, nobody knew it would become a collector’s item.”

All Apple I's are considered collector's items due to their rarity but this one has the added feature of its case. According to the lot notes from Los Angeles auction house, John Moran:

The wooden case that houses this computer is made from Koa wood. In the 1970s, Koa wood was abundant and easily accessible, especially on the west coast because it was native to Hawaii, but due to cattle grazing and extensive logging, the Koa tree is now considered much rarer and more expensive. 

As its number suggest, the Apple 1 was the first computer designed by Steve Wozniak and sold by Steve Jobs from their garage premises after the circuit boards were assembled and tested. The PCB in this unit has an inspection date of 21 September 1976. 

apple1moranpcb

The majority of the initial run of the Apple 1 was sold direct to end users in kit form. However, a batch of 50 were purchased by Paul Terrell, owner of ByteShop in Mountain View, California.Terrell, who had anticipated 50 all-in-one units, was initially dismay to be faced with 50 boxed kits but was placated by Jobs who pointed out that each box included all necessary elements to compose the machine and that ByteShop could make a profit by selling keyboards, monitors, and power supplies within their store as an opportunity to upsell the product.Terrell paid $500 for each Apple 1 kit and marked them up to $666.66, the equivalent of $2,800 today.

apple1moran

 

While $400,000, the amount due to the seller as a result of the sale at auction, is undoubtedly a lot, the record price for an Apple 1  is held by Bonhams that sold on in New York in 2014 for $905,000.

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 14 November 2021 )