One of the very first Apple computers hand-built by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in a garage almost 40 years ago is set to fetch up to $500,000 when it goes under the hammer.
The Apple-1 Computer motherboard was in the first batch of computers for Apple’s first client, the Byte Shop, originally costing just $664. The computer, which is fully functional and one of the best preserved version ever seen, will go under the hammer in Bonhams on September 21 with a conservative estimate of $500,000.
Designed and assembled by Jobs and Wozniak in a garage, the 1976 motherboard was traded in at a computer shop in Florida having rarely been used. It sat on a shelf until owner Tom Romkey dusted it off after spotting a similar gadget sell at auction for a world record 563,904 pounds last year, ‘Daily Express’ reported. “It’s in incredible condition,” said Corey Cohen, Apple-1 expert and member of the Board of Directors for Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists Museum. “It’s nearly 40 years old, next year. It’s one of the best condition Apple-1s we’ve ever seen – not just at auction, but at any physical place at all,” Cohen said.
The pre-assembled computer is just a motherboard that required the owner to provide a screen, keyboard and casing. “This is from the first batch of 50 because they received an order from the Byte Shop who put inventory numbers on them with a security pen,” Auctioneer Cassandra Hatton, Bonhams’ director of History of Science and Technology, said. Only 66 surviving authentic Apple-1’s are currently listed on the official Apple 1 registry.