Super rare functioning Apple I computer could fetch hundreds of thousands at auction

Auction house says Berkeley engineer offloading Apple I machine

Super rare functioning Apple I computer could fetch hundreds of thousands in auction
Auction Team Breker

An auction house in May will look for the highest bidding fanboy or fangirl who'd like to get his or her hands on what it claims is just one of 8 functioning Apple I computers.

Auction Team Breker, which is based in Germany and specializes in what it calls "technical antiques", has set an auction date for the Apple I on May 20.

MORE: iPhone 8 rumor rollup

The collector's item could fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars based on sales of past such items, such as an Apple I sold by Sotheby's in 2014 for about $375K and a prototype of the Apple I that sold for $815K last year. Auction Team Breker estimates its item will go for between $190K and $320K.

The Apple I originally sold for $666.66, equal to a little over $,2800 today.

If you're eager to make a bid, check out this sales pitch from Auction Team Breker, which accepts bids via the mail and online.

"This is the sensational 1st product of today's highest-valued company (approx. 600 billion US$). – The 'Apple-1' was designed and built by hand by Steve Wozniak in the famous 'electronics heaven' of Silicon Valley, California, and was marketed in April 1976 by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs through electronics retail chain, the 'Byte Shop', which bought the first 50 units."

Auction Team Breker cites the Apple I Registry as saying only 200 of these computers were ever made and that only 8 are supposedly still in working condition.

The auction house says the computer comes by way of an engineer from Berkeley, Calif., and includes original documents, plus notes from telephone calls with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. 

And hey, if you can't swing the $190K or more to win the Apple I bid, you might consider going for the Rasmus Malling-Hanson "Writing Ball", the world's first commercially product typewriter from 1867. Bidding is estimated to range from $75K to $90.

(Hat tip to Ars Technica for spotting this auction item.)

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

IT Salary Survey: The results are in