Apple 1

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Apple 1

Apple's first computer. Several retail stores in Silicon Valley offered the Apple 1 in 1976, the same year Apple was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Sold without a case, power supply or keyboard, the Apple 1 had 8KB of memory and a 1 MHz processor from MOS Technology. It is estimated that some 200 units were built, many by the hand of Steve Wozniak. A year after its introduction, the Apple II was introduced, which became an outstanding success. See Apple and Apple II.

Worth More Than Gold
Although approximately 60 Apple 1's are estimated to still exist, six are known to actually work, and three of them were auctioned within a year of each other. In June 2012, one went for $374,500 to an anonymous buyer at Sotheby's after fierce bidding between two people. In November 2012, Auction Team Breker in Cologne, Germany, which specializes in technical antiques, sold an Apple 1 for $640,000. In May 2013 another unit sold for $671,400, more than a thousand times the machine's original price of $666.66.

Not Really Junk!
In April 2015, an elderly woman dropped off an Apple 1 at the CleanBayArea e-waste recycling center in Milpitas, California without leaving her name. Along with other electronics, the Apple 1 was the property of her late husband. CleanBayArea promptly sold the unit for $200,000 and will pay her half the amount if she can ever be located. See e-waste.

The $671,400 Apple 1
This is the unit auctioned in May 2013. Apple's copyright notice (top) is printed on the motherboard. (Image courtesy of AUCTION TEAM BREKER, Cologne, Germany, (c) 2013,
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Apple I, one of the first home personal computers, was modestly powered and ran very basic games and programs.
A buyer paid $666.66 for this particular Apple I sometime between late 1976 and early 1977, the auction house said.
The Apple I's condition is exceptional not just because of the computer's age, but the way users handled their machines.
He evaluated the Apple I in June for the auction house.
The Apple I came with its original packaging and a signed sales letter from Apple co-founder and current chief executive Steve Jobs, reports the BBC.
Christie's said the Apple I had been the only personal computer to come with a fully assembled motherboard when it was introduced, making it ready to use straight from the box.
Despite its high auction value, the Apple I's processor works 1,000 times slower than today's Apple iPad.
But the Apple I's first outing was to an inauspicious gathering in San Francisco called the Homebrew Computer Club - a society for people into gadgets of which Jobs and Wozniak were members.
The pair made pounds 9,600 from the Apple I, but to create the kind of computers they dreamed of they needed capital - and they got it.
Today, Apple is known for its iPods first and foremost - even promoting its new iMac G5 as "from the creators of iPod".
The pair made pounds 6,500 from the Apple I, but to create the kind of computers they really dreamed of they needed serious capital.