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The Almighty Buck Apple Hardware

Apple-1 Sells For $671,400, Breaks Previous Auction Record 79

hypnosec writes "What is believed to be one of the six working Apple-1 computers has fetched a whopping $671,400 for its current owner at an auction in Germany. The Apple-1 was built by Steve Wozniak back in 1976 in the garage of Steve Jobs' parents. The model sold at auction is either from the first lot of 50 systems ordered by Paul Terrell, owner of the Byte Shop chain of stores, or part of the next lot of 150 systems the duo built to sell to friends and vendors. The retail price for the Apple-1 at the time was $666.66."
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Apple-1 Sells For $671,400, Breaks Previous Auction Record

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 26, 2013 @02:21AM (#43825775)

    A sucker !!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 26, 2013 @02:26AM (#43825787)
    I'd buy it, if only for a chance to start harassing The Woz for tech support.
    • I'd buy it, if only for a chance to start harassing The Woz for tech support.

      What's awesome about that guy? I bet he'd do it.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      I'd buy it, if only for a chance to start harassing The Woz for tech support.

      When Jobs and Woz built and sold their blue boxes, Woz inserted a small slip of paper in it - a poem I believe. The deal was that if your blue box ever stopped working, you could bring it in, and as long as that paper was in there, he'd repair it. Doesn't matter how long ago you bought it, as long as it was in there.

      Given the last blue-boxable line was killed around the mid-2000's (yes, there was ONE phone company who still maintai

  • It is indeed a piece of modern history, it would be good on display in a museum of the 20th century (along a few other pioneering machines).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The science museum in London does have an apple I...Along with various other rarities (a PDP-8 for example and other even older things).

      I don't think any of those is in working order though.

  • Metaphores. (Score:5, Funny)

    by VortexCortex ( 1117377 ) <.moc.edargorter- ... . .xetroCxetroV.> on Sunday May 26, 2013 @02:32AM (#43825815)

    $666.66... The Biblical Apple was from the tree of knowledge. The Apple's salesman was snake, and the users were deceived. Steve Jobs aspired to be devilishly clever in marketing. In Faustian style, his life was cut short ahead of its time... Oh what stories that would be told, if only this silicon could talk.

    • Re:Metaphores. (Score:5, Informative)

      by NoMaster ( 142776 ) on Sunday May 26, 2013 @02:54AM (#43825873) Homepage Journal

      Except that the 'apple' in that bit of biblical symbolism is a later European Christian addition. The forbidden fruit of the Bible was most likely a fig, grape, apricot or pomegranate [christadelphianbooks.org].

      Though I do recall an early computer sold in Aus (through DSE?) called the Apricot, which IIRC was a rebadged MPF-II (an early Apple nearly-compatible clone...)

      • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

        Not only that, but the "number of the beast" is actually 616. During one of the many translations of that work of fiction, it was assumed by the translating monks to be the equivalent of a typo, so they changed it it 666.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "and the users were deceived" Everything the snake said about the fruit was actually true though. The only deceiver in the story was god.

    • So the Apple Computer is THE Apple.
      Jobs is the snake.
      Woz is God.

      The Tower of Babble story is obviously the story about the ancient language of Assembly that people used to build so much of the software stack, which angered the God and then he split the language into many.

      The Great Flood and the Noah's Arc is probably an RMS related story.

      Makes sense. Now we have men that are men, women that are men and also the FBI agents. The only question remains where is Eve in all of this?

    • by bjb ( 3050 )
      Considering Jobs and Woz made no claims to knowing what it meant at the time, it was amusing to see Jean-Louis Gassée's book 20 years or so ago called "The First Apple". Had a picture of Sir Issac Newton sitting under an serpent-laden apple tree with a Macintosh. Birth of history (if you consider the bible as such), birth of science (if you consider Newton and the gravity apple as such), and birth of computer revolution (if you consider the Macintosh as such). Clever.
  • I wonder how much an iPhone 1 will be worth in 40-50 years... I suspect they made more of those than the Apple 1 though.
    • It would really depend on the popularity (and existence) of Apple in 40-50 years. I think this thing wouldn't have raked in so much money if Apple did go bankrupt in the late nineties.

      As technology goes, the Apple I is not that revolutionary. Not like the first mouse or first transistor.

      • Re: iPhone 1 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@gmail.cTIGERom minus cat> on Sunday May 26, 2013 @06:17AM (#43826381)

        Well, it sort of is - it's one of the first consumer computers, so it's different in that respect to an iPhone. Regardless of how far down the line we go, the iPhone will never be the product that launched a company and played a large role in the wider acceptance of home computing in general (note again, for slashdot mods: not saying it was *the* thing, or the *only* thing, or the *most important* thing etc).

        It's like the auction of the first telephone - these things have cultural significance beyond that of a product from somewhere in the middle, regardless of whether the company is still going or not. I'm sure that didn't hurt, but it's hardly the only thing driving that auction price.

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          Well, it sort of is - it's one of the first consumer computers, so it's different in that respect to an iPhone.

          Well, it was more properly one of the first computers available for purchase almost complete. Prior to this, you had to assemble the computer yourself. But Apple sold it as a complete board - you just added a keyboard, power supply and TV and you had a computer.

          The first consumer computers will be the Apple II - at which point it was one of the first enclosed in a plastic shell available for the ma

    • by narcc ( 412956 )

      Probably not much, if anything at all. It lacks both significance and scarcity -- and doesn't have the interesting back story that comes with the Apple I.

  • The $666 of those days is worth about $666,666 today, so the value of the Apple 1 actually reduced a little...
  • An Apple-1 computer, made in 1976, sold for a record $671,400 on Saturday at an auction in Germany, including all fees and taxes, said Uwe Breker, the German auctioneer.

    That surpassed the $640,000 record for an Apple-1, set last November at a sale at the same auction house in Cologne, Germany, Auction Team Breker. The fall 2012 sale was a sharp rise from the previous record price for an Apple-1 of $374,500, set in June 2012 at Sothebyâ(TM)s in New York.

    - I thought 640K was enough for everybody, apparently not until zee Germans get here.


    As a side note

    some irrational exuberance in the prices, for a machine that can do very little and originally sold for $666 (about $2,700 in current dollars).

    - isn't that funny, how the official inflation (666 becomes 2700) is so far off the actual bubbles forming in various asset classes, that reflect the actual rate of inflation (666 becomes 641K) and almost none the wiser.

    • - isn't that funny, how the official inflation (666 becomes 2700) is so far off the actual bubbles forming in various asset classes, that reflect the actual rate of inflation (666 becomes 641K) and almost none the wiser

      The $641k number is not, in any meaningful way, a result of inflation. The product did not gain value due to the loss of value of the currency, it gained value because of its own diminishing supply and its associated historic value. The difference between its price in 1976 dollars ($666.66) and the value of that much money today ($2,700) is inflationary; you could describe it accurately as an inflationary difference of roughly four-fold. However the remaining difference between the $2,700 of today's dol

  • has fetched a whopping $671,400

    Or, in 1976 dollars, about $666.66 :-p
    (yes in reality it is more like $150K, but where's the fun in that?)

    • by cusco ( 717999 )
      Still way off, really closer to $3000-$10000, depending on how you measure inflation.

      Had an instructor one time who had worked for Apple when it was still in Wozniak's garage, she may have helped assemble this one (there's a photo of employees from this time period, she's the black woman). At one point the company was so short of cash they were paying employees in stock. She left the company after a couple of months of this because she needed to feed her kids and stock certificates weren't doing that.
  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Sunday May 26, 2013 @02:16PM (#43828181)
    back in 1976 at the Stanford Linear Acceleration I thought the Steves would take all the fun out of building a computer if you buy one already made. I was wrong.
  • It's always cool hearing about something like this fetching such a high price. The original Apple computer is somewhat of a holy grail among those of us who like these sort of things.

    However, the knowledge that there are so few known to exist, the knowledge that most of those are accounted for, and the knowledge that the odds of one of these turning up in a thrift store, donated by some clueless mom who has no idea what it is, priced by some clueless worker who has no idea what it is, and passed up by othe

    • If it's any consolation, a copy of Action Comics #1 (cover date June 1938, some guy in a cape on the cover) was recently discovered serving as insulation in the wall of a house bought for salvage for $10K. It's currently on auction, with bidding at $137K [comicconnect.com]. (It'd be fetching more money, but the back cover got ripped in a grabbing contest between the guy who found it and his wife's aunt.)
  • $640K should be enough for anybody.
  • Back when I was pressing my nose against the glass of The Byte Shop (San Mateo was it? Buggered if I can remember, I lived in Redwood City and it was nearby) wishing I could afford one of those nifty Apple ]['s, I saw an Apple I in the shop, under glass, listed for a cool $1 Mill. It was a board, with components. Not terribly impressive, but the ][ had only been out for a few months iirc. I don't think he ever really wanted to sell it.

    I went to work for Apple shortly after, got one of their loan-to-own

  • Did Woz got some share out of it?

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard