A Vintage Apple 1 computer sold for $668,000 at a German auction house in Cologne. The 1976 model is fully functional and one of the few remaining originals. The Apple 1 machines were built by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in a garage.
Jobs and Wozniak built 200 Apple 1 computers and sold them for $666 each. The “computers” included a circuit board and nothing else. A case, keyboard, monitor, transformers, and power switch had to be purchased separately. Buyers were tasked with assembling the final product.
As reported by NPR, the recently auctioned vintage Apple 1 computer was originally purchased by Fred Hatfield. Unfortunately, Hatfield was disappointed when he received his Apple 1.
Hatfield contacted Jobs directly to complain:
“I called Steve Jobs, and discussed his machine with him. I complained to him about it. We had a long discussion. It was an interesting conversation … I didn’t get anywhere.”
Hatfield expected the computer to include all necessary accessories. When he received it, he realized that he would have to purchase more parts and assemble the complete unit himself.
Jobs eventually offered to buy the Apple 1 back from Hatfield at a loss of $200. Hatfield declined, stating that he “continued to use it, to decode radio signals.”
Hatfield eventually stored the vintage Apple 1 computer as it quickly became obsolete. He never imagined someone would offer to buy it nearly 40 years later.
In 2010, Hatfield entered his name on a registry of vintage Apple owners. He posted a picture of his Apple 1 with a personal note he received from Jobs. In the 1978 note, Jobs offered him $400 for his Apple 1.
Hatfield was contacted in March of this year with a much better offer. A purchaser was willing to give him $40,000 for his vintage Apple 1 computer.
Hatfield thought the profit was reasonable, and sold the Apple 1. The purchaser made a few minor repairs and got the machine working again. There are only six remaining Apple 1 machines that are functional.
As reported by Business Insider, the machine was sold at auction by Breker of Germany for $668,000. The original Apple was signed by Wozniak and included the personal note from Jobs.
Hatfield was perfectly happy with the $40,000 he received for the vintage Apple computer. He is currently using the money to cover his living expenses. Hatfield, who is now over 80, plans to use some of the money to purchase a ham (amateur) radio.
[Images via Wikipedia]