Working Apple I with rare wooden case is on eBay for $1.5 million

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A working copy of the Apple I has been offered on eBay with an asking price of $1.5 million. The device is one of a total of 200 made. However, as far as is known, there are only six that have the wooden housing of this model.

Besides the rarity of the model, the fact that Steve Wozniak built it himself and the wooden casing, this model is also in fully functioning condition. During the 2019 Vintage Computer Festival West, in California, the device is said to have worked for hours. The only adjustments that have been made are the replacement of the video and keyboard connectors to keep the unit working. Also included is a Sony TV-115, “as recommended by Steve Jobs.”

The owner got his hands on it in 1978. The then owner wanted to trade it in at a Canadian computer store for an Apple II because the I was no longer supported. However, the store did not do that, but forwarded the owner to a private individual who, in his own words, “understood at first glance that it would have a place in the history books” and exchanged it for an Apple II. The device was carefully preserved until its owner was reminded of his own by another Apple I story in 2015. In the meantime it has been repaired and put on display and is now for sale. The seller also refers to the Apple I Registry for more information.

The Apple I was, as the name suggests, the first computer Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak made in Jobs’ garage in Silicon Valley. 200 were made, all by Wozniak himself. To fund production, Wozniak sold his HP-65 calculator for $500 and Jobs sold his VW Microbus. At the time, the computer had a starting price of $666.66. The Apple I has a MOS 6502 CPU with a clock speed of 1MHz and 4 to 8KB of RAM.

It seems unlikely that the device will yield the full $1.5 million. Previous auctions of Apple I’s in good condition have typically fetched between $600,000 and $1 million.

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