Apple I computer sold on auction for (relative) peanuts

So much for the blogosphere’s ability to predict the auction-sales price of a rare Apple I computer.

Remember that  AP story published on SiliconValley.com a few days ago about the computer, one of only 200 made by co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak back in 1976? According to that story, it was owned by  “Ted Perry, a retired school psychologist who owns the old Apple and has kept it stashed away in a cardboard box at his home outside Sacramento.”

And everyone and their mother was saying the thing would sell at Christie’s online auction for as much as a half a milion dollars.

Well, we were all off a bit.

The computer did go up for auction at Christie’s as I reported in this space.

And apparently it DID sell, to an anonymous bidder.

But according to a post from Apple Insider, the 1976 computer went for a mere pittance of $387,750, despite it having been etched with Wozniak’s John Hancock:

The final price for the historic machine was actually less than predicted, as a working Apple I brought in $671,400 in an auction in Germany earlier this year. Bidding on the most recent Christie’s auction began at $300,000.

There is a silver lining, though, for any of you Apple I owners still thinking about selling:

Still, the asking price for an Apple I has gone up considerably in recent years. For example, an Apple I in “superb” condition sold for $174,000 in a Christie’s auction in London in 2010.

And if you don’t have an Apple I, perhaps you could unload some of those Old Master drawings in your attic?

For a nice take on the Apple I that sold, check out this report.

Patrick May Patrick May (305 Posts)

With more than 30 years on the front line of daily American journalism, I'm currently a staff writer with the San Jose Mercury News, covering Apple and writing people-centric business stories from Silicon Valley.