First hand-built Apple I computer by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak set to fetch £330,000 ($500,000)

It was almost 40 years ago, when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak made the first hand-built Apple-1 personal computer in a garage. On September 21, the very same fully functional and pristine machine is set to be sold in the Bonhams History of Science and Technology auction and expected to fetch up to 330,000 pounds (or $500,000).

Originally costing just 437 pounds, the Apple-1 Computer motherboard was in the first batch of computers for Apple’s first client, the Byte Shop.

The Apple-1 was the first pre-assembled personal computer to come to market. In 1976, after Steve Wozniak demonstrated his breakthrough design at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, he and school friend Steve Jobs obtained an order from Byte Shop for 50 assembled boards.

This one is from the first batch of 50 because they received an order from the Byte Shop who put inventory numbers on them with a security pen. Finally, even though 200 boards were made only 66 survived, while the others have been lost, destroyed or broken up to manufacture Apple IIs. The authentic 66 Apple-1’s are currently listed on the official Apple 1 registry.

The pre-assembled computer is just a motherboard that required the owner to provide a screen, keyboard and casing. At that time, the Apple-1 sold for $666.66, equal to about $2,800 in 2015 dollars.

In the early 1980s, Apple- I was used only once or twice, and later, it was traded for a new NCR personal Computer at Tom Romkey’s ‘Personal Computer Store’ in Florida. Mr Romkey put the Apple- I on a shelf and did not touch it again until he spotted a similar gadget in a worse condition being sold for a record sale of £563,904 ($905,000) at Bonhams in October last year.

He called Bonhams and hopped on a plane to New York with his precious piece of circuitry, which would go under the hammer on September 21.

Corey Cohen, an Apple-1 expert and member of the Board of Directors for Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists Museum was called in by Bonhams to authenticate the device and verify that it was operational. She said: “It’s in incredible condition.

“It’s nearly 40 years old, next year.

“It’s one of the best condition Apple-1s we’ve ever seen – not just at auction, but at any physical place at all.”

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