Apple is now a $1 trillion company, a staggering valuation achieved on the back of a highly successful product line that consists of smartphones, tablets, computers and accessories for those products, alongside services and software that make those products better. But when the company was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne back in 1976, it started out as purely a computer company, with Steve Wozniak developing its earliest products in his spare time.
One such product was the Apple I, the company’s first ever product that was sold to the public. The product wasn’t what you’d traditionally call a computer; instead, it was a motherboard with the basics, and you would need to add additional bits to make it what is considered a traditional computer, such as a keyboard, monitor and casing for the motherboard itself. It was popular among local computing enthusiasts, and sold for $666.66 (a lot of money in those days). Of course, not too many were produced, and the company went with more mainstream products and designs as it grew rapidly in its early years.
This is what makes the Apple I a rarity, and as the first ever product of what is now the most valuable company in the world makes the computer a prized possession. Out of the 200 built, only 60 or so survive, according to The Washington Post. One such device, which continues to function and hasn’t been modified in any way, is expected to sell for $300,000 at an auction, far more than even the inflation-adjusted cost of the device back in 1976. The device is being auctioned by Boston, Massachusetts based RR Auction for an unnamed seller.
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Buyers will be interested in this and will be willing to pay a high price, purely because of the vintage value that such a product holds. It’ll likely to be snapped up by a collector, and could eventually wind up in a museum or the private collection of an enthusiast, or maybe even make its way back to Apple if the company decides to buy back a piece of its own history. Perhaps Wozniak would himself like to buy back one of his earliest creations for Apple.