Ultra-rare Apple-1 computer sells for $400,000 (and you thought the new MacBook Pro was expensive)

Apple-1
(Image credit: John Moran Auctioneers)

Built by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in 1976, the Apple Computer-1 (or Apple-1) was the tech giant’s very first computer. Only 200 of them were made, so perhaps it’s not surprising that an ultra-rare version of the machine has just sold at auction for $400,000 (as reported by the BBC (opens in new tab)).

The Apple-1 originally sold for $666,66 - equivalent to more than $3,000 today - and this particular machine is even more prized because it’s made from Koa wood. Only six computers with this case material are known to exist.

What’s more, prior to the auction, held by John Moran Auctioneers in California (opens in new tab), it had only had two owners - an electronics professor at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, California, and then one of his students, who he sold it to in 1977.

The sale also included a 1986 Panasonic monitor, a period Xerox copy of the Apple-1 Basic Manual, the Apple-1 Operations Guide, an original MOS 6502 programming manual, and two Apple-1 software cassette tapes with period hand-written index card detailing memory locations for the Apple-1 loading software.

We assume that the new owner will be happy with their purchase - the good news for them is that the machine is still functioning. We’d advise against trying to run too many CPU-intensive plugins on it, though...

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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