Apple-1 computer could fetch $500,000 or more at Christie’s auction

“It’s the kind of electronic junk that piles up in basements and garages — an old computer motherboard with wires sticking out,” Verena Dobnik reports for The Associated Press. “But because it was designed and sold by two college dropouts named Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, it could be worth more than half a million dollars.”

“An Apple 1 from 1976, one of the first Apple computers ever built and forerunner of today’s MacBooks, iPads and iPhones, goes on the auction block at Christie’s next week,” Dobnik reports. “The bidding starts at $300,000, with a pre-sale estimated value of up to $500,000. ‘This is a piece of history that made a difference in the world, it’s where the computer revolution started,’ said Ted Perry, a retired school psychologist who owns the old Apple and has kept it stashed away in a cardboard box at his home outside Sacramento, Calif.”

Dobnik reports, “The 11-by-14 green piece of plastic covered with a grid of memory chips above a labyrinth of wires was one of the first 25 such computer elements, and sold for $666.66. About 200 were made but most have disappeared or been discarded. Various estimates put the number known to still exist from about 30 to 50. They came with eight kilobytes of memory — a million times less than the average computer today.”

“Another Apple 1 was sold last month for a record $671,400 by a German auction house, breaking a previous record of $640,000 set in November,” Dobnik reports. “Perry, 70, acquired his Apple 1 in either 1979 or 1980, as a secondhand item he saw advertised. He paid nothing for it; it was a swap with the owner. ‘I traded some other computer equipment I had for the Apple 1,’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That sure was a good trade on Perry’s part!


  1. Wow finally something I know about. I personally know Ted Perry. He, like Woz, is also a Segway enthusiast. They would occasionally play Segway polo together, each on opposing teams. Ted is the Apple’s fan of fans. If there was a fan club, we would be president. He’s a real character, if there ever was someone worth possessing an Apple 1, it wold be him. Although I am surprised by this truth. I am actually 1 degree separation from an Apple 1 owner.

    Apart from being a psychologist, his primary responsibility prior to retiring, was supporting technology in education. It was a role that seemed to have been made up just for him, as for other’s who followed, it did not last.

    I worked in IT, for business support. He supported classroom curriculum, throughout Apple’s worst years. He had a Newton, which I got to play with, plus a lot of other esoteric and cutting edge Apple products and software. Sometimes business and education were at odds, therefor he and our group were also at odds, but not disrespectful. When he retired it was sad to see him go.

    Many of my coworkers know him, a lot more than I do. Something to talk about!

    This couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

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