Original 45-year-old Apple computer that was hand-numbered by Steve Jobs and STILL works goes up for sale for $240,000

  • Apple-1 computer is fully-functional and has the Apple co-founder’s handwriting
  • The Apple-1 machine was the first product sold by the Apple Computer company
  • Some 175 units were sold in total, each for $666.66 (equivalent to $3,126 today) 
  • Bidding on this item is currently at $241,000 but it’s expected to reach $375,000

A fully-functional Apple 1 computer has gone up for sale – and could be yours if you have a spare $240,000 (£195,000) laying around. 

The ‘amazing’ machine, which is hand-numbered by Apple founder Steve Jobs, comes with ‘all components and accessories required for operation’. 

Bidding stands at $241,000 (£196,000) and ends on December 15 – but auctioneers are anticipating a final selling price of $375,000 (£305,000). 

Launched in 1976, Apple 1, the tech giant’s first ever product, was sold as an assembled circuit board and lacked basic features such as a keyboard or monitor. 

The original Apple-1 board (pictured) is marked in the hand of Steve Jobs with stock number ’01-00002′

Apple-1 was originally sold as an assembled circuit board and lacked basic features such as a keyboard or monitor – but this listing includes additional devices to bring the machine to life

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak made the Apple-1 computer in 1976 and presented it at a computer club in Palo Alto, although there were few takers.

Paul Terrell, owner of retail chain called The Byte Shop, placed an order for 50 Apple-1s and sold them for $666.66 (£420) retail – once Wozniak and Jobs agreed to assemble the circuit boards rather than offer them as kits.

The usual price tag is believed to have been chosen because Wozniak liked repeating digits.

Wozniak and Jobs hand-crafted 150 more Apple-1 machines and sold them to friends and other vendors.

Fewer than 50 original Apple-1s are believed to have survived; only eight are known to be in working condition.

Apple-1 did not have a keyboard or monitor, meaning users had to supply their own before they were able to use the computer. It also had 8K memory – tiny by today’s standards. 

Jobs sent them direct to buyers from the garage of his parents’ house, now known as ‘Apple Garage’.

It is not known how many were sold during 1976, but by April 1977 the price had been dropped to $475 (£300). 

But unlike many of the known Apple-1 computers, this ‘sought-after’ unit has not had any modifications to the physical board, and the prototype is ‘clean and unused’.  

The machine is now being sold off by RR Auction, an auction house based in Boston. 

‘The most remarkable aspect of this Apple-1 computer is that it is documented to be fully operational,’ the auction house says.

‘The system was operated without fault for approximately eight hours in a comprehensive test.’

The listing includes the original Apple-1 board, marked in the hand of Steve Jobs with stock number ’01-00002′. 

On the left side, the board is embossed with the words: ‘Apple Computer 1, Palo Alto, Ca. Copyright 1976.’ 

‘Discrete’ dates on the computer’s components match other known Apple-1 boards of similar vintage, assembled and sold by Apple in autumn 1976 and early 1977.

The machine has been authenticated as a genuine original by Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen, who restored it to its original operational state. 

Also included in the listing are an original Apple-1 operation manual, ASCII keyboard, Sanyo 4205 video monitor and an Apple-1 Cassette Interface (ACI). 

The sale will also be accompanied by a full letter of authenticity for Jobs’ handwriting on the board.  

Launched in 1976, Apple-1 was the first product to be developed under the Apple name by Jobs and co-founder Steve Wozniak. 

Around 175 of 200 Apple-1 machines were sold in total, each carrying a price tag of $666.66 (equivalent to some $3,126 today).

The listing includes the original Apple-1 board, marked in the hand of Steve Jobs with stock number ’01-00002′ (pictured in black ink)

Pictured is the reverse side of the Apple-1 board. This Apple-1 computer was restored to its original, operational state by Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen

Also included in the listing, an Apple-1 Cassette Interface (ACI, pictured), a card that could be added to the Apple-1 computer’s expansion slot to allow it to use cassette tape media for data storage

Pictured are Apple founders Steve Wozniak (left) and Steve Jobs (right) in 1976. Apple-1 was originally conceived by Steve Jobs and Steve ‘Woz’ Wozniak as a bare circuit board to be sold as a kit and completed by electronics hobbyists

Apple-1 was originally conceived as a kit to be sold to electronics hobbyists and the members of the Palo Alto Homebrew Computer Club, a computer group in Menlo Park, California.

Seeking a larger audience, Jobs approached Paul Terrell, owner of The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California, one of the first personal computer stores in the world. 

Aiming to elevate the computer beyond the realm of the hobbyist, Terrell agreed to purchase 50 Apple-1 computers, but only if they were fully assembled. 

Under this requisite, Apple-1 became one of the first ‘personal’ computers that did not require soldering by the end user. 

Pictured, an original Apple-1 operation manual with firm’s first established legal office address

All together, over a span of about 10 months, Jobs and Wozniak produced about 200 Apple-1 computers and sold 175 of them. 

The Apple-1 would pave the way for the development of the more advanced Apple II in early 1977, which came in a plastic housing with an integrated keyboard.

Sale of the Apple II and its accessories and software saw Apple Computer’s annual revenue rise from $774,000 to $118 million within just three years.

Now, early Apple products are highly sought-after and fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction.  

Earlier this year, a prototype for Apple-1, called ‘Apple Computer A’, was sold by RR Auction for $677,196 (more than £550,000). 

The ‘rare’ and ‘historic’ item is essentially a circuit board covered in chips and wires, embossed with the words ‘Apple Computer A ©76’. 

In March 2020, another functioning Apple-1 model sold for $458,711 (around £335,000) at auction in Boston.

WHAT IS THE APPLE 1?

Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created the Apple-1 personal computer in 1976 and presented it at a computer club in Palo Alto.

However, there were few takers at the time.

Paul Terrell, owner of a retail chain called Byte Shop, placed an order for 50 of the machines and sold them for $666.66 (£420) retail – once Mr Wozniak and Mr Jobs agreed to assemble the circuit boards rather than offer them as kits.

The usual price tag is believed to have been chosen because Mr Wozniak liked repeating digits.

Wozniak and Jobs hand-crafted 150 more Apple-1 machines and sold them to friends and other vendors.

Fewer than 50 original Apple-1s are believed to have survived, with only eight known to be in working condition.

The Apple 1 did not have a keyboard or monitor, meaning users had to supply their own before they were able to use the computer.

It also had a tiny 8K memory — minuscule by today’s standards. 

Jobs sent them direct to buyers from the garage of his parents’ house.

It is not known how many were sold during 1976, but by April 1977 the price had been dropped to $475 (£300).

The first Apple computer helped kick-start a technological revolution that brought affordable computers out of science labs and into people’s homes.

The Apple II was introduced in April 1977 with an integrated keyboard, sound, a plastic case, and eight internal expansion slots.

By the time it was discontinued in October 1977, around 200 Apple 1s had been produced.

It is thought that only 30 to 50 of the computers still exist today.

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