Apple-1 personal computers were the very beginnings of Apple’s presence in the computer industry, and they were the world first experience with Steve Jobs. He sold the computer from his garage, and now it has sold in New York City for $365,000. The computer sold at Christie’s and actually fell thousands beneath what the auction house expected the original computer to fetch. The forecasted expectation was that this Apple-1 would bring between $400,000 and $600,000 in its sale today.
The owner was happy to sell his Apple-1 even though the expected selling price was significantly higher. Owner Bob Luther said, “It was a little disappointing, but it was time for me to move on, and it’s good that it’s sold.” He added later that “Owning it has been an incredible experience. And I can’t complain. I’m a big Apple fan, and I’m not very diversified in my 401(k) because a very high percentage of it is in Apple stock. And that has been very good to me.”
The Apple-1 sold for the price that it did largely due to the rarity of the computer. Right now, it’s estimated that there are just 60 of them in existence. According to Luther, he even noted that this was the only Apple-1 computer that was sold to a customer directly, rather than being sold to the Byte Shop. Charles Ricketts was that original owner, and when Luther made the purchase at a Sheriffs auction, the price he paid for it in 2004 was just $7,600.
This though comes at a time when the iPod Classic is burning up third-party marketplaces like eBay where they’ve sold for as much as $20,000. This coming after the iPod Classic was discontinued a few months ago leaving customers that were looking for the classic iPod to explore non-traditional methods for purchasing one. The devices were known for being particularly functional – holding as many as 40,000 songs, and holding up for 36 hours of playback. Now, most of that is a distant memory – as smartphones have taken over the music market, and barely make 10 hours of playback.