The “Apple I” is what started it all. A seemingly simple computer that’s ‘totally not for the average consumer’. Because ‘who wants to own a computer?’ is what they said. Well, an Apple I was sold on an auction for many hundreds of thousands of dollars. So there surely is demand.
A functioning Apple I with accessories was sold for a whopping 471,000USD at Christie’s auction house in the UK. The machine was expected to sell for more than that too, at around 640,000USD. Others of the “only 200 ever produced”-gang have been sold for sums nearing a million dollars multiple times before as well, making this a good price for the billionaire who won the intensive auction. For us in the remaining 99% of the population, it’s like walking into the grocery store to buy your favourite soda and finding out its 30% off.
The original owner of the machine, Rick Conte, purchased the machine in 1977 and donated to a non-profit organization in 2009. It has switched hands a few times where it finally ended up at Christie’s auction house where the new owner won the bidding.
There are approximately only 80 units, out of the 200 Apple built, left. 15 of those are located in museums while the remaining rest is either in private collections or their location is simply unknown.