Rare Apple-I fetches less than expected at German auction

May 20, 2017
An antique Apple Computer 1 from 1976, one of just eight still working, fetched 110,000 euros at auction in Germany, below a forecast price of between 180,000 and 300,000 euros

A rare working Apple-1, the first computer produced by Steve Jobs' world-beater-to-be company four decades ago, sold for less than expected at auction in Germany on Saturday.

One of only eight working models in the world, the machine fetched 110,000 euros ($125,000), well below the expected 180,000-300,000 euros—suggesting that a spike in prices after Jobs' 2011 death is definitely over.

"From our point of view we are back at normal levels. Five years after the death of (Apple co-founder) Steve Jobs the 'hype' has settled back," Uwe Breker, who oversaw the in Cologne, told AFP.

Breker's auction house, which specialises in the sale of technical antiques, had also been involved in a 2013 sale of another Apple-I—which fetched 516,000 euros.

The model auctioned off Saturday and whose original owner was a Californian engineer, still had its receipt, its operating manual and other documents.

"(The Apple 1) was one of the first opportunities for someone to possess a real computer. I'd been working with computers for a while but they were huge," original owner John J. Dryden, who bought the Apple in 1976, said Friday.

He admitted that parting with the machine was a wrench but said the time had come as he had not used it in a long time.

The was one of around 200 Apple 1 units marketed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who developed and built it.

Saturday's buyer was a German engineer who collects old computers.

Explore further: Vintage Apple computer auctioned off for $668,000

Related Stories

Apple sold by Jobs fetches $365,000 at auction

December 11, 2014

A 1976 Apple computer sold by Steve Jobs from his parents' garage fetched $365,000 at auction in New York on Thursday, falling short of its pre-sale estimate in a competitive computer relic market.

First Apple computer heads to Sotheby's auction

June 9, 2012

There's no screen, it was built in 1976, and the clunky design does not exactly recall today's iPads, but the first Apple computer is expected to fetch up to $180,000 in New York.

Apple computer sells for record $905K in NY

October 23, 2014

One of the first Apple computers ever built has sold in New York for $905,000, leading Bonhams auction house to declare it the world's most expensive computer relic.

Recommended for you

China auto show highlights industry's electric ambitions

April 22, 2018

The biggest global auto show of the year showcases China's ambitions to become a leader in electric cars and the industry's multibillion-dollar scramble to roll out models that appeal to price-conscious but demanding Chinese ...

Robot designed for faster, safer uranium plant pipe cleanup

April 21, 2018

Ohio crews cleaning up a massive former Cold War-era uranium enrichment plant in Ohio plan this summer to deploy a high-tech helper: an autonomous, radiation-measuring robot that will roll through miles of large overhead ...

How social networking sites may discriminate against women

April 20, 2018

Social media and the sharing economy have created new opportunities by leveraging online networks to build trust and remove marketplace barriers. But a growing body of research suggests that old gender and racial biases persist, ...

Virtually modelling the human brain in a computer

April 19, 2018

Neurons that remain active even after the triggering stimulus has been silenced form the basis of short-term memory. The brain uses rhythmically active neurons to combine larger groups of neurons into functional units. Until ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

EmceeSquared
not rated yet May 21, 2017
If that 1976 circuit board is working, it's definitely had its capacitors replaced. The pictured board's big blue caps don't look at all like their 1976 models would have. Typically the originalist collector fetishists view any modifications as lowering collectible value, even if broken. Archaeology museums often don't even clean non-contemporaneous dirt from artifacts, which emphasizes their antiquity at the expense of their function (and of the accurate presentation of their original appearance).

And yes, Jobs' death of course drove lots of upbidders into the market with his celebrity peak and obvious sharp dropoff. The idea that a totally obsolete PC, even such a watershed one, is worth $125K (185x its original retail price) is even sillier than Apple's #1 market cap (20% larger than #2's; 2.3x #8 Johnson & Johnson's) of $798B. The RIP Jobs era's 3x as high prices were just a testimony to the vanity of people with that much disposable cash.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.