Apple 1 computer built by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs sells for $400,000

Apple 1 computer built by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs sells for $400,000

But are your pockets deep enough?

The Apple I, as the name might imply, was the first computer sold by the company that now produces iPhones and Mac computers. Sold only as a system board, which required a separate keyboard and monitor, it was the machine that started it all. Now one of the few remaining Apple I computers in working condition is going up for auction, and it could sell for $500,000, if not more.

Update 1 (11/10/2021 @ 12:53 ET): The Apple I computer has sold for $400,000 at auction, according to Business Insider. The article as published on November 9, 2021, is preserved below.

“This fascinating piece of technological history is in mint condition, featuring many period-correct and original parts, and is in working order,” John Moran Auctioneers said on its website. “This Apple-1 has recently undergone an extensive authentication, restoration, and evaluation process. It contains all period-appropriate and original parts, and it is in working order! In addition to the motherboard, monitor, and keyboard, this lot is equipped with 2 cassette tapes, 3 wires, and a period xerox-copy of the original owner’s manual.”

Apple I

Apple I computer up for auction

This specific Apple I computer is enclosed in a wooden case made from Koa wood, making it one of six known examples of Apple I computers with that type of case. According to the auctioneer, the computer had two owners — an electronics professor at Chaffey College, and a student who was taking the professor’s programming course and bought the Apple I from them. The seller will remain anonymous until the auction is complete.

The Apple I was powered by a 8-bit MOS 6502 processor (running at a whopping 1 MHz) with 4 KB of RAM, and was capable of displaying 40×24 characters with its bare-bones operating system. It was designed by Steve Wozniak, and only 200 units were hand-assembled by Wozniak and Steve Jobs before the Apple II replaced it in 1977. The Apple II went on to become one of the most popular computer lines of the late 1970s and early 1980s, and remained the company’s main source of revenue until the first Macintosh was introduced in 1984.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the computer could sell for close to $500,000, if not more, given another operational Apple I sold for $905,000 in 2014. The auction starts on Tuesday, November 9.

Photo credit: John Moran Auctioneers

About author

Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's also the host of the Tech Tales podcast, which explores the history of the technology industry. Follow him on Twitter at @corbindavenport.