Apple I computer encased in koa wood and in working condition could sell for $600,000


A rare Apple 1, the first computer ever built by Apple and its co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, is going up for auction on Tuesday.

The 45-year-old computer could sell for as much as $600,000 when the sale is finished, according to John Moran Auctioneers, the organization handling the sale.

Known as the ‘Chaffey College’ Apple 1 (due to the fact it was first owned by a Chaffey professor), it is encased with koa wood. It also comes with the original Apple 1 ‘NTI’ motherboard, power regulators and a blue Sprague 39D capacitor.

The winner of the Apple 1 will also receive a 1986 Panasonic video monitor, a Xerox copy of the Apple-1 Basic manual, the operations guide and a MOS 6502 programming manual.

The lot also contains two Apple-1 software cassette tapes, with ‘hand-written index card with memory locations for the Apple-1 loading software,’ the auction house wrote in its description.

An Apple 1 computer is going up for auction on Tuesday and could sell for as much as $600,000, John Moran Auctioneers said

An Apple 1 computer is going up for auction on Tuesday and could sell for as much as $600,000, John Moran Auctioneers said

It is encased with koa wood, now a high-priced commodity and comes with a host of accessories

It is encased with koa wood, now a high-priced commodity and comes with a host of accessories

It is encased with koa wood, now a high-priced commodity and comes with a host of accessories

The winner of the Apple 1 will also receive a 1986 Panasonic video monitor, a Xerox copy of the Apple-1 Basic manual and the operations guide

The winner of the Apple 1 will also receive a 1986 Panasonic video monitor, a Xerox copy of the Apple-1 Basic manual and the operations guide

The winner of the Apple 1 will also receive a 1986 Panasonic video monitor, a Xerox copy of the Apple-1 Basic manual and the operations guide

The winner of the auction will also receive two Apple-1 software cassette tapes (pictured)

The winner of the auction will also receive two Apple-1 software cassette tapes (pictured)

The winner of the auction will also receive two Apple-1 software cassette tapes (pictured) 

A hand-written index card with memory locations for the Apple-1 loading software is also included

A hand-written index card with memory locations for the Apple-1 loading software is also included

A hand-written index card with memory locations for the Apple-1 loading software is also included

Steve Jobs, who died in 2011, came up with the idea to sell 'something like 50' Apple 1's to Byte Shop for $500 each

Steve Jobs, who died in 2011, came up with the idea to sell 'something like 50' Apple 1's to Byte Shop for $500 each

Steve Jobs, who died in 2011, came up with the idea to sell ‘something like 50’ Apple 1’s to Byte Shop for $500 each

It was eventually sold at retail in July 1976 for $666.66 due to Steve Wozniak's (right) fascination with repeating numbers

It was eventually sold at retail in July 1976 for $666.66 due to Steve Wozniak's (right) fascination with repeating numbers

It was eventually sold at retail in July 1976 for $666.66 due to Steve Wozniak’s (right) fascination with repeating numbers

The Apple 1 helped springboard the rise of the Cupertino, California-based tech giant, with Wozniak selling off his HP-65 calculator to finance and manufacture the item.

Jobs, who died in 2011, came up with the idea to sell ‘something like 50’ Apple 1’s to Byte Shop for $500 each.

It was eventually sold at retail in July 1976 for $666.66 due to Wozniak’s fascination with repeating numbers.

It was eventually bought from the professor by a Chaffey student for $650 in 1977, according to the Los Angeles Times.

It also comes with the original Apple 1 'NTI' motherboard, power regulators and a blue Sprague 39D capacitor

It also comes with the original Apple 1 'NTI' motherboard, power regulators and a blue Sprague 39D capacitor

It also comes with the original Apple 1 ‘NTI’ motherboard, power regulators and a blue Sprague 39D capacitor

Approximately 200 Apple-1 units were assembled, with 175 of them eventually sold. Only 60 of them are still in existence and approximately 20 of them are in working order

Approximately 200 Apple-1 units were assembled, with 175 of them eventually sold. Only 60 of them are still in existence and approximately 20 of them are in working order

Approximately 200 Apple-1 units were assembled, with 175 of them eventually sold. Only 60 of them are still in existence and approximately 20 of them are in working order

The student, who is remaining anonymous until after the sale is final, held on to the Apple 1 for the next four decades.

‘This is kind of the holy grail for vintage electronics and computer tech collectors,’ Corey Cohen, an Apple-1 expert told the Times. 

‘That really makes it exciting for a lot of people.’

So far, there have been two bids, with the highest coming in at $225,000, but a live auction is happening on Tuesday. 

Approximately 200 Apple-1 units were assembled, with 175 of them eventually sold.

Only 60 of them are still in existence and approximately 20 of them are in working order, Cohen added.

Most Apple-1s were not sold with cases, potentially making this particular computer more valuable.

Koa wood is now an expensive commodity, selling for as much as $50 per board foot, and there are only a handful of Apple-1s with cases, Cohen explained. 

‘It has all the pieces and it has some really good provenance,’ Cohen explained to the news outlet. 

‘We can pretty much track it back to the original professor who owned it.’

The unit was in the student’s possession until Noelle Valentino, John Moran’s department manager trusts and estates, gave a talk to financial advisors to see if any of their clients had hidden treasures.

One client of an anonymous wealth advisor said they had a computer they kept for 40 years and the rest is history.

‘At first I really wasn’t sure what it even was,’ Valentino told the Times. ‘But I was intrigued enough by the sounds of it, the first Apple computer.’

‘I thought, ‘I’m going to just ask about this to some other colleagues.’ They were the ones that really almost fell over when they heard that we have this opportunity,’ she added. 

Several Apple 1s have gone up for auction in recent memory and sold for huge sums.

In February, an Apple-1 with a wooden case sold for over $1 million on eBay. 

In August, an Apple 1 motherboard – complete with an original user’s manual – went up for auction for $450,000. 

The Apple-1 was discontinued in October 1977, with Jobs and Wozniak offering discounts and trade-ins for the more advanced Apple II

The Apple-1 was discontinued in October 1977, with Jobs and Wozniak offering discounts and trade-ins for the more advanced Apple II

The Apple-1 was discontinued in October 1977, with Jobs and Wozniak offering discounts and trade-ins for the more advanced Apple II

The Apple-1 was discontinued in October 1977, with Jobs and Wozniak offering discounts and trade-ins for the more advanced Apple II.

The world record for an Apple-1 computer is $905,000 for one sold at auction in New York in 2014. 

In August, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay paid more than $787,000 at auction for Apple II manual signed in 1980 by Steve Jobs. 

THE TRILLION DOLLAR RISE OF APPLE

The company's journey to the summit of the technology industry has been a rocky one, having seen Jobs (pictured right in 1976) leave the firm in the mid-1980s after his pet project, the first Macintosh computer, struggled and he attempted to oust then chief executive John Sculley. Wozniak is pictured left  

The company's journey to the summit of the technology industry has been a rocky one, having seen Jobs (pictured right in 1976) leave the firm in the mid-1980s after his pet project, the first Macintosh computer, struggled and he attempted to oust then chief executive John Sculley. Wozniak is pictured left  

The company’s journey to the summit of the technology industry has been a rocky one, having seen Jobs (pictured right in 1976) leave the firm in the mid-1980s after his pet project, the first Macintosh computer, struggled and he attempted to oust then chief executive John Sculley. Wozniak is pictured left  

1976: Founders Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne created the company on April 1 1976 as they set about selling computer kits to hobbyists, each of which was built by Wozniak.

The first product was the Apple I. 

1977: Apple released the Apple II in June, which was the first PC made for the mass market. 

1981: Jobs became chairman.  

1984: The Macintosh was introduced during an ad break for the Super Bowl and later officially unveiled during a launch event. It was discontinued a year later and Jobs left the firm.

1987: Apple released the Macintosh II, the first colour Mac.

1997: Apple announces it will acquire NeXT software in a $400 million deal that involves Jobs returning to Apple as interim CEO. He officially took the role in 2000.  

2001: Apple introduced iTunes, OS X and the first-generation iPod.

The first iPod MP3 music player was released on October 23, 2001, at an event in Cupertino and was able to hold up to 1,000 songs.

Steve Jobs unveils Apple Computer Corporation's new Macintosh February 6, 1984 in California.

Steve Jobs unveils Apple Computer Corporation's new Macintosh February 6, 1984 in California.

Steve Jobs unveils Apple Computer Corporation’s new Macintosh February 6, 1984 in California.

The then Chief Executive Officer of Apple, Steve Jobs, with the iPhone

The then Chief Executive Officer of Apple, Steve Jobs, with the iPhone

The then Chief Executive Officer of Apple, Steve Jobs, with the iPhone

2007: Apple unveils the iPhone. 

2010: The first iPad was unveiled.

2011: Jobs resigned in 2011 due to illness, handing the CEO title to Tim Cook. Job died in October from pancreatic cancer.

2014: Apple unveiled the Apple Watch. It also unveiled its first larger iPhones – the 6 and 6 Plus. 

2015: After purchasing Beats from Dr Dre, Apple launched Apple Music to compete with Spotify and other music streaming services. 

Apple CEO Steve Jobs speaks at an Apple event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs speaks at an Apple event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs speaks at an Apple event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

2016: Apple returned to its roots and announced the 4-inch iPhone SE. Meanwhile, the firm is embroiled in a legal battle with the FBI, involving the agency demanding access to the locked phone used by Syed Farook, who died in a shootout after carrying out a deadly December attack in San Bernardino, California with his wife. The court order was dropped on March 28 after the FBI said a third party was able to unlock the device.  

2017: Apple introduces the iPhone X, which removes the home button to make way for a futuristic edge-to-edge screen design and a new FaceID system that uses advanced sensors and lasers to unlock phones with just the owner’s face.    

2018: In a first for the company, Apple introduces new features in its latest operating system, iOS 12, that encourage users to manage and spend less time on their devices. The move was spawned by a strongly worded letter from shareholders that urged the firm to address the growing problem of smartphone addiction among kids and teenagers. 

2019: In January, Apple reports its first decline in revenues and profits in a decade. CEO Tim Cook partly blamed steep declines in revenue from China.

2020: In March, Apple closes all its bricks and mortar retail stores outside of China in response to coronavirus. 



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Written by bourbiza

bourbiza is an entertainment reporter for iltuoiphone News and is based in Los Angeles.

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