Tuesday, November 23, 2010, 04:45 pm PT (07:45 pm ET)
Apple I computer sells for $174K at London auctionA rare example of Apple's first computer, the Apple I, in "superb" condition sold for $174,000 at an auction in London on Tuesday.
Italian businessman and private collector Marco Boglione made the winning bid, which came to about $210,000 after tax, by phone Tuesday at Christie's auction house in London, the Associated Press reports. Prior to the auction, Christie's estimated the computer would sell for between $160,000-240,000. When it was released in 1976, the Apple I sold for $666.66.
The Apple I computer, of which only 200 were made, has become a rare collector's item, as only 30 to 50 units are believed to still exist. The auctioned unit was listed as a "superb example" and came in its original box with a signed letter from Apple cofounder Steve Jobs.
Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, who hand-built each of the Apple I personal computers, attended the auction, offering to add an autographed letter to the lot. Wozniak told reporters the auction was a historic moment for his work.
According to the AP, the auction included other pieces of technological history, such as an Enigma code-making machine and writings of Alan Turing, who is considered "one of the founders of modern computing."
"Today my heart went out as I got to see things auctioned off like the Turing documents and the Enigma machine and the Apple I," said Wozniak after the auction. "It really was an important step, (even though) I didn't feel that way when I designed it."
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