Forty years ago, two friends named Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs were building computers in a home garage. Between April 1976 and September 1977, about 200 Apple I computers were manufactured and sold. This computer was particularly noteworthy at the time because all you needed to use it was a keyboard and a functioning TV set, which was a much simpler and less expensive setup when compared to competing PC technology. And although the Apple I production was abandoned just a few months after the release of the newer, more stylish, mass produced Apple II in April 1977, the Apple I remains important in the company’s history as it represents the first ready-for-market computer product produced under the Apple name.
Fast forward to today. In 2017, the MacBook Pro, Apple’s top-of-the-line laptop, costs nearly $3000 with all the bells and whistles. For most people that sounds like a significant investment (and it is!), but believe it or not, this is nothing compared to the expected price one of the eight remaining functional Apple I computers will fetch at auction in May.
The auction listing claims that this particular Apple I is “the best-preserved example of an Apple I computer to have appeared on the market,” and comes with not only the computer, but also comes with an archive of original documents, including
- The preliminary operation manual
- Circuit diagrams
- Notes related to telephone calls with Steve Wozniak in 1977
This computer is officially logged as No. 14 in Willegal’s Apple I Registry and comes to the auction from its original owner, a computer engineer in Berkley, California. All this can be yours on May 20, 2017, if your price is right – just make sure you have your checkbook ready. Preliminary estimates indicate that this computing relic could fetch as much as $320,000 at auction.
While the team at ATB can’t help you nab a deal on this piece of IT history at auction, we can help you assess your current hardware setup, identify any outdated technologies and recommend appropriate and cost effective upgrades. Whether you decide to keep the old stuff in storage with the hopes of a future pay day is up to you.