Rare Apple 1 computer up for grabs in German auction

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A rare, working condition Apple 1 computer will be auctioned off in Germany this May 25 by Breker, and is expected to fetch between $261,000 to $392,000 from interested buyers and enthusiasts. $640,000 was the record price paid for an Apple 1, paid last year in an auction by the same company in Cologne, Germany.

The Apple 1 computer, built by hand and signed by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, was produced in 1976 and sold for $666.66 at the time. Although approximately 200units were produced, only 50 are said to have survived until today, according to studies made by auction house Sotheby’s.

Together with the unit to be auctioned in May 25 are the computer’s original manual and a letter signed by the late Steve Jobs. The letter is said to be addressed to the original owner Fred Hatfield offering to upgrade the Apple 1 to an Apple II 4k motherboard for an additional $400. The Apple II 4k went on sale for $1,298 in June 1977.

According to Apple 1 expert Mike Willegal, the Fred Hatfield machine, tagged and indexed by the company he works for as #37, has been cleaned up and brought into operating condition. “I have no clue about what will win it, but it seems that the European auctions seem to be gathering the highest bids, so it may well reach the estimated value for it,” he said.

The unit to be auctioned, labeled as Lot14, was previously posted in Breker’s website last November, though it failed to sell in last year’s auction. For the May 25 auction, the company has again posted photographs of the Hatfield Apple 1 on its website, as well as a video to prove that the computer is still in working condition.

Source: computerworld.com

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