A rare piece of Apple history will go on sale later this month when Christie’s auctions Apple’s first product, the Apple I personal computer, for an estimated $160,000-$240,000 on Nov. 23.
The Apple I, acknowledged by many as the first “personal computer,” was Apple’s first product offering. Approximately 200 units were hand-built by Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak and priced at $666.66. With a completely pre-assembled motherboard, the computer helped to spark the home computer revolution when it was released in July 1976.
It comes with original packaging, instruction manuals, the Apple I cassette interface and a signed letter by billionaire Jobs – who is still head of the pioneering company. The return address on the original packaging shows that the unit shipped from Jobs’ parents’ house.
Christie’s will sell the Apple I as part of a larger Nov. 23 London auction including a cypher machine, a first edition presentation copy of a publication by Charles Babbage, and a variety of other “valuable printed books and manuscripts.
The “historic” example goes under the hammer at Christie’s in London later this month, highlighting a growing interest in early computer technology.
Early geeks had to part with the equivalent of £410 to buy one, even though it didn’t have a monitor or keyboard. And few realised what a good investment it would be.