With only 200 ever made, the Apple I, Apple’s first ever computer, has become something of both a rarity and a highly collectable item.
Out of the batch of 200 boards, only around 50 are known to exist right now, and only six of those are in working condition. So, when one of the remaining six working boards showed up at Sotheby’s auction house, a high estimation was slapped on it: $180,000.
The estimation was blown away when the board sold for a whopping $374,500, with an unknown high bidder netting themselves a premium slice of Apple history. Along with the rather bland looking board (pictured) came bundled an original user manual and programming guide, while an interface to work with the board came separately on cassette, selling for a more reasonable $75.
A non-working Apple I sold for around $200,000 back in 2010, although it’s thought that the passing of CEO Steve Jobs has driven interest skyward.
The Apple I was the first computer that Apple created, with co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak creating the board in Jobs’ parents’ garage. From there the company has gone on to battle Microsoft in the PC market and earn its fair share, although the company generates much of its profit from mobile devices these days.
Sotheby’s also auctioned off a four-page memo written by the late Steve Jobs, which the CEO wrote to his supervisor Stephen Bristow when he worked at Atari. The memo details how Jobs thought the company could improve its World Cup Football game, and was estimated to sell for up to $15,000. However, like the Apple I it exceeded estimations, and eventually sold for £27,500.