The Apple I computer announced by Sotheby’s to go on auction this week has finally been sold to a generous bidder who didn’t even bother to make an appearance at the showcase. He reportedly closed the deal over the phone.
The NYDailyNews.com says
that the Apple I computer, which Sotheby’s expected to fetch no less than $180,000 / 142,000 EUR, “set off a fierce battle between two bidders that drove up the price to more than twice that initial upper estimate of $180,000.”
The auction house later revealed that the system went to “a phone bidder” whose name was not disclosed for the sake of this person’s privacy.
Of the 200 Apple I machines hand-built by Apple Co-Founder, Steve Wozniak, only six are said to remain in working order to this day.
Around 50 (partially-operational, non-functional, or totaled) still exist in the wild, making them some of the rarest collector’s items for die-hard geeks.
The Apple I runs the BASIC operating system.
Wozniak was more into engineering and less into selling. His friend, Steve Jobs, was the exact opposite. These contrasting traits eventually led to the co-foundation of Apple Computer.
Speaking of geeks, we’d like to delight out readers with the item’s official description (from Sotheby’s
official site), available below:
APPLE I COMPUTER
Operational Apple Computer I. An Apple I motherboard, labeled on obverse Apple Computer I, Palo Alto, CA. Copyright 1976. Includes circuit board with four rows A-D, and columns 1-18; MOS Technologies 6502 microprocessor, labeled MCS 6502 3776; video terminal; keyboard interface; 8K bytes RAM in 16-pin 4K memory chips; 4 power supplies including 3 capacitors; firmware in PROMS (A1, A2); low-profile sockets on all integrated circuits; breadboard; heatsink; expansion connector; cassette board connector. (15 1/8 x 9 in.; 385 x 234 mm)
Together with: Apple I Cassette Interface, labeled Apple I Cassette Interface Copyright 1976, partial "G" lettered in triangle on reverse, in black ink manuscript (4 x 2 in.; 102 x 50 mm). — Apple-I Operation Manual. Palo Alto: Apple Computer Company. 12 pp. in wrappers (11 x 8 1/2 in.; 280 x 214 mm), with 8 circuit diagrams, 2 on foldout printed verso and recto, one full page; with original Apple Computer Co. logo on upper wrapper; tear along fold, light staining on wrapper and bottom right corner. — Apple-I Cassette Interface Manual, Palo Alto: Apple Computer Company.
Oblong 8 pp. bifolia (8 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.; 140 x 215 mm), with some staining to wrappers; original logo on upper wrapper, warranty on lower wrapper — Preliminary Apple BASIC Users Manual. Palo Alto: Apple Computer Company. Oblong 8 pp. bifolia (8 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.; 140 x 215 mm), with some staining to wrappers; original logo on upper wrapper, warranty on lower wrapper — Preliminary Apple BASIC Users Manual. Palo Alto: Apple Computer Company, October 1976.
8 stapled sheets (11 x 8 1/2 in.; 280 x 214 mm), printed verso and recto, with first sheet on blue paper with tear along staple and manuscript "Randy J Suess." Some staining to first and last page, with tear on last page. — Double-sided advertisement with illustration for Apple I Computer and the Apple Cassette Interface, with manuscript note (11 x 8 1/2 in.; 280 x 214 mm).