An ultra-rare, functioning Apple-1 computer was put up for auction recently by auction house Christie’s and it has managed to fetch a final price of around $471,000. Despite selling for close to almost half a million dollars, which seems quite impressive, the final auction price fell considerably short of the upper limited of the expected price set by Christie’s. It’s a surprise considering the fact that the Apple-1 computer is still in functioning state and the existing examples have fetched more in the past. The auction house had set a pre-sale expected price range of $378,000 to $630,000, and generally, auctions of such highly collectible items easily end up crossing the expected sale price.
The Apple-1 machine is often regarded by most people as the first true personal computer. It came with a MOS Technologies 6502 microprocessor and 8KB of RAM. It was first released in 1976 with a price-tag of $666 and only 200 units were hand built. The Apple-1 that was auctioned by Christie’s was initially acquired by a man named Rick Conte in 1977 and donated to a non-profit organization in 2009. It then changed hands several times before being acquired by the people now selling it in September of 2014. Only 80 units of the Apple-1 computer are still believed to exist in the world with around 15 of them preserved in various museums. The auction lot also included an Apple photo slide of the original Apple logo and a pristine, working Panasonic RQ-309DS Cassette Tape Recorder for the Apple-1.