How much do you think is an old computer worth? Not much, right. And why not? Computers, like mobile phones, cars or any other object, lose their value once they go off shelves and reach a consumer. However, after some point of time, they become so old they start to get valuable again due to their sheer antiquity. And that is exactly what happened to a model of an early Apple computer, the Apple-1, that was recently auctioned by a New York auction house on Wednesday.
Bonhams, the auction house in question, revealed that a working model of the Apple-1 — the first pre-assembled computer made by Apple — was auctioned for a staggering $905,000! This working model of the Apple-1 was among the 50 models that were assembled by no one other than Steve Wozniak, who was Apple’s co-founder along with Steve Jobs. All of the Apple-1 machines were hand assembled at Steve Job’s family garage in Los Altos, California in the year 1976. Unlike several other Apple-1 machines that still exist, this one was in perfect working condition, according to Reuters.
While the rare Apple-1 computer was expected to get a high price thanks to its pedigree and rarity, the bid of $905,000 far exceeded the expectations set by the auction firm themselves. Bonhams was expecting a price tag anywhere between $300,000 and $500,000 for the ancient computer. Another Apple-1 model was auctioned by Sothebys in 2012 for over $300,000.
In a press release issued by Bonhams announcing the specialties of the Apple-1, they claim that the machine is “widely acknowledged as the herald of the personal computer revolution, being the first pre-assembled personal computer ever sold. The model for auction is one of 50 hand-built for the ByteShop by Steve Wozniak in the summer of 1976 in Steve Jobs’ garage (or possibly bedroom).”
According to Christina Geiger, director of the fine books and manuscripts department at Bonhams in New York, they’re proud to have carried the auction.
“It is a great privilege to be selling this Apple-1 at auction. It has exceptional provenance and condition. Moreover, it will be the first Apple-1 to be publicly exhibited for auction in the Bay Area. It is very gratifying to think of this computer returning to within 40 miles of its birthplace.”
The release adds that this particular unit of the Apple-1 was owned by John Anderson, founder of the Cincinnati AppleSiders. He is believed to have purchased it sometime in 1980 and immediately figured out it was great value and had it kept under glass since 1989. This is among the 15 known Apple-1’s that have been known to have been succesfully operated since 2000.
According to Corey Cohen, an expert on all things Apple-1;
“This is one of the best examples of a working early Apple-1 board that I have seen. The condition is unlike the other Apple-1 computers that have come up for sale before. This one has had no modifications ever performed or removed; even the screws on the power regulators aren’t heat cycled.”
If you are wondering who bought the rare Apple-1, let us inform you that it was The Henry Ford organization, which bought the device so that it can display the computer in its museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
“The Apple-1 was not only innovative, but it is a key artifact in the foundation of the digital revolution,” Henry Ford President Patricia Mooradian said in a statement.
[Image via Bonhams]