How much will this Apple-1 computer sell for?

28 Aug 2012

A former Apple employee is putting a rare Apple-1 computer up for auction in October.

The Apple-1 system, serial number 22, is being made available from the estate of former employee Joe Copson, and is expected to fetch between £50,000 and £80,000 at Christie's in London.
Hand-built in 1976 by Steve Wozniak, only 200 Apple-1 machines were assembled and sold, without casing or peripherals, for $666.66. It is estimated that fewer than 50 exist today.
It's not the first time a rare Apple-1 has been put up for auction. In November 2010 a computer with a signed sales letter from Steve Jobs sold for $210,000 (£133,250).
And in June this year a rare operational Apple-1 sold for a record $374,500 (£240,929).

Only 200 Apple-1 computers were originally made, in Steve Jobs' parents' garage by Steve Wozniak's own hands. Way back in 1976 they shipped each one themselves and randomly chose a price of $666.66. The Apple-1 didn't even have a case, a screen or a keyboard - it was little more than a circuit board.

But with only 50 believed to still exist, original Apple-1 computers fetch big bucks at auction. In November 2010 an Apple-1 in its original packaging and with a signed sales letter from Steve Jobs sold for $210,000 (£133,250). The buyer said he would restore it to working order and put it in his collection of Apple devices.

Then in June this year a rare, operational Apple-1 sold for a record $374,500 (£240,929), a sign of just how keen buyers are to get their hands on Apple memorabilia since Steve Jobs passed away.

Now, a former Apple employee is putting his original Apple-1 computer up for auction. The system, serial number 22, is being made available from the estate of former employee Joe Copson to Christie's in London:

Lot 73
AN APPLE 1 PERSONAL COMPUTER
Palo Alto, 1976
the motherboard numbered on the reverse 01-0022 in black ink, printed circuit board marked Apple Computer 1 Palo Alto, Ca 1976 with 4 rows A-D and columns 1-18, three capacitors, heatsink, cassette board connector, keyboard interface, firmware in PROMS, white 6502 microprocessor; with Apple cassette interface card lettered G within triangle in black ink manuscript to reverse, and case containing circuitry for keyboard.
15.1/2in. (39.5cm.)

Although Christie's staff haven't had the system up and running, they believe it will be possible to restore it.

How much will this one fetch? Christie's estimate between £50,000 and £80,000, but as previous auctions show anything can happen. How much do you think it's worth?

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