Apple I charity auction hits $500,000

Are you in the market for a new computer? You could barely do much worse than the Apple I nowadays, but if 1976’s debut from Apple is what you’re after, then you have a rare opportunity to make that dream come true.

Providing you have at least $505,000, that is. That’s the current price that an Apple I is going for in a charity auction taking place on Charitybuzz – quite a step up from the $666.66 it sold for in 1976, even when you take inflation into account.

The site estimates its worth at $1,000,000, which is even more of an increase, but it does have precedent. Another Apple I sold for $900,000 two years ago. The ridiculous price the computer goes for relates to its scarcity: the Apple I was hand-assembled by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, and only 200 of them were ever made. Of those, 175 were sold, and we know the whereabouts of fewer than 100 in 2016.apple_1_auction_tapes

Once you accept that any old Apple I is worth $1,000,000, you begin to realise that this particular model could actually end up selling for a lot more. Not only is this a charity auction, which tends to inflate bids somewhat, but this is even rarer than normal. The listing explains that no known circuit boards of this type have ever been sold to the public, meaning the prize is most likely a preproduction model.

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Don’t worry, though, for your money, you’re not just getting an antiquated computer with no technical support that won’t run the latest version of OS X – you’re also getting all the manuals, schematics, a sales receipt from the previous owner and two games: Star Trek and Blackjack.

The auction is due to run until Thursday 25 August, so get your bids in quickly, moneybags.

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