Apple I, the first Apple computer, sold for $374,500 while Steve Jobs note fetches $27,500

Along with all the big happenings around Apple, such as the WWDC 2012 coming to a conclusion; there’s yet another news related to Apple that has just hit the stands. Sotheby, an auction house, has just auctioned an Apple I (the motherboard, cassette interface, and its BASIC programming manual) for a total of $374,500. A hand-written note by Steve Jobs was also put on auction and fetched $27,500. The note was written by Jobs when he was at Atari.

Though the expected prices for each item were approximated to be around $180k and $13k respectively, the pieces brought in more than double the amount. There was a fight between an absentee bidder and an anonymous phone bidder over the Apple I; eventually the phone bidder won the battle. According to Sotheby, the Apple I which was just sold is one among fifty existing Apple Is, with only six of those fifty known to still work. Apple had produced around 200 pieces of Apple I.

Quote from the auction catalog advertising Apple I:

“The Apple Computer. A truly complete microcomputer system on a single PC board.” When Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs presented the Apple I Computer to the Homebrew Computer Club in 1976, it was dismissed by everyone but Paul Terrell, the owner of a chain of stores called Byte Shop. Terrell ordered 50 computers for $500 apiece, insisting that the circuit boards come fully assembled rather than as DIY kits similar to the Altair, and Jobs and Woz managed to produce the requisite computers in 30 days. They continued production, immediately creating 50 additional Apple I’s to sell to friends and an additional 100 to sell through vendors, at a retail price of $666.66, a number that garnered complaints among conservative Christians, but provided a lucrative 33% markup.”

The new MacBook Pro looks pretty cheap now, doesn’t it? ;)

[via Apple Insider]

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1 comment

  1. sl0wj0n

    Hello, all.
    Little did the so-called “conservative Christians” know, but years later,
    many of us are convinced that computers are *indeed* satan’s evil machines, intended to induce prolific cursing,
    and much foul language, at the very least.
    Which it seems they are quite capable of producing, especially the Win-tel variety,
    but I’ve seen many posts on tech/IT forums where the “crapple” version receives its share of rants and harangues.
    Perhaps its the nature of the beast, since Jobs, and other computer executives,
    proved that computer companies are far more concerned with profit, rather than performance.
    I’ve wondered what capitalism could have produced,
    if management decisions had been made based on the Christian principle of ‘love thou neighbor as thyself’,
    rather than the ‘let the customer deal with the problem’ mentality.
    Considering Terrell’s order provided a modest 12.5% ‘profit’,
    vs the “lucrative 33% markup” of the “retail price of $666.66,”
    is it any wonder that ‘management’ continues to find inventive and ingenious ways,
    to pass *their* expenses on to their customers and employees?
    Back in the day, businesses, and business owners, calculated the cost of doing business,
    which included most of their expenses, and accordingly set their markup at *fair* and competitive rates.
    The result was often an across the board flat rate markup on almost every item sold.
    Now, many businesses use ‘loss leader’ pricing strategies to hold down prices on some items,
    and a corresponding ‘whatever the market will bear’ method on more popular items.
    The result has been that some items command higher than MSRP pricing,
    as the opportunity to ‘make even *more* money’ presents itself to sellers of some particularly popular items.
    Remember that, the next time a *new* Apple product has customers waiting in line over-night,
    to buy the latest and greatest ‘toy’.

    Have a GREAT day, neighbors!