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Working Apple-1 sold at auction by original owner for $101K in Germany

One of the last surviving Apple-1 computers in full working order has sold in Germany for a bid price of $101,325 —far lower than expected for the collectible.




German auction house Team Breker, which specializes in technical antiques, noted the Apple-1 was being consigned by its original owner, an unidentified computer engineer from Berkeley, California. Said to be the "best-preserved example of an Apple-1 computer to have appeared on the market," the computer was sold in full working condition, and is believed to be one of only eight remaining working units left in existence.

A spokesperson for the auctioneer advises it is 14th on Mike Willegal's Apple-1 registry, with serial number 01-0073 bearing the original NTI sign.

The documents accompanying the Apple-1 included the original manual, complete with the primary logo, circuit diagrams, and a receipt for the motherboard and cassette interface. An original letter from Apple customer care was also provided, advising the customer could not upgrade to the Apple-II.

Aside from original documentation, the paperwork also included a collection of notes from telephone calls with Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1977.

The Apple-1 was estimated to sell for between $190,000 and $320,000. After fees are added to the bid price of $101,325, the purchaser will dole out $149,390 for the package.

In 2016, a "Celebration" motherboard believed to be one of the first hand-built prototypes for the Apple-1 sold for $815,000. In 2014, a working Apple-1 was auctioned for $365,000, falling short of estimates between $400,000 and $600,000, while a 2013 auction for an Apple-1 signed by Steve Wozniak fetched $671,000.

The current record for the highest price paid at auction for an Apple-1 is $905,000, acquired by The Henry Ford organization in late 2014.