Apple's first computer hand-built by Jobs and Wozniak sells for $400,000

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Nov 09, 2021, 10:06 PM(IST)

Apple-1 is the great-great-grandfather of today's sleek chrome-and-glass Macbooks. Photograph:( AFP )

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The auctioned piece is encased in koa wood, a richly patinated wood native to Hawaii. Only a handful of the original 200 were made in this way.

Apple-1, the original Apple computer hand-built by company founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, went for $400,000 at an auction in the US. 

John Moran Auctioneers in Monrovia, California, auctioned it off on Tuesday one of 200 Apple-1 computers that was made 45 years ago.

The so-called "Chaffey College" Apple-1 is one of only 200 made by Jobs and Wozniak at the very start of the company's odyssey from garage start-up to megalith worth $2 trillion.

The auctioned computer is called "Chaffey College" is because its original owner was a professor at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, California. He later sold the computer to a student in 1977 so that he could buy an Apple-II computer. 

The student, who remains unidentified, has kept the computer until now.

The functioning Apple-1 is the great-great-grandfather of today's sleek chrome-and-glass Macbooks. It is expected that the computer will fetch USD 600,000 at the auction in California.

The piece to be auctioned is rarer still than most other Apple-1 computers. This one is encased in koa wood, a richly patinated wood native to Hawaii. Only a handful of the original 200 were made in this way.

Jobs and Wozniak mostly sold Apple-1s as component parts. One computer shop that took a delivery of around 50 units decided to encase some of them in wood, the auction house said.

"This is kind of the holy grail for vintage electronics and computer tech collectors," Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen told the Los Angeles Times. "That really makes it exciting for a lot of people."

Auction house John Moran Auctioneers says the device, which comes with a 1986 Panasonic video monitor, has only ever had two owners.

"It was originally purchased by an electronics professor at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, California, who then sold it to his student in 1977," a listing on the auction house's website says.

The Los Angeles Times reported the student -- who has not been named -- paid just $650 for it at the time.
That student now stands to make a pretty penny: a working Apple-1 that came to the market in 2014 was sold by Bonhams for more than $900,000.

"A lot of people just want to know what kind of a person collects Apple-1 computers and it's not just people in the tech industry," Cohen said.

Apple raced to success in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but floundered after the departure of Jobs and Wozniak.

The company was reinvigorated in the late 1990s, and Jobs was brought back into the fold as the chief executive.

He oversaw the launch of the iPod, and later the world-changing iPhone, before his death in 2011.

(With inputs from agencies)
 

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