Cult, even mythical. A wooden Apple-1, the first computer model marketed by the apple company from 1976, is auctioned on Tuesday, November 9, in southern California and could go for more than a million dollars (around 860,000 euros).
The company founded by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs only built a total of 200 Apple-1s, all hand-assembled at Jobs, most of which sold at the time for $ 666.66.
The copy auctioned by the John Moran auction house in Monrovia, near Los Angeles, is estimated at between 400,000 and 600,000 dollars, but could be sold even more, say specialists. A working Apple-1 was sold for more than $ 900,000 in 2014 by Bonhams.
Purchased in 1977 by a student from his teacher
According to expert Corey Cohen, interviewed by the newspaper Los Angeles Times, 60 Apple-1 are listed to date but only twenty of them, including the one sold by the house John Moran, still work.
The copy is all the more original because it has an exotic wood case, the koa, native to the Hawaiian Islands, a rarity that has earned it a place in a sale otherwise devoted to contemporary art and design. . There are only six known examples of Apple-1 with koa housing, according to the catalog of the house of John Moran.
The proposed lot includes the original Apple-1 “NTI” motherboard, connection and power cables, as well as a 1986 Panasonic video monitor.
In 1976, the Apple-1s were among the first personal computer models already assembled (with the components already soldered onto the motherboard in particular) but they often sold without a case or keyboard.
The copy bought at the time by a professor at Chaffey College, went on sale Tuesday, “Is a bit like the holy grail for collectors of electronics and vintage computers”, assures Corey Cohen. This professor sold it in 1977 to one of his students, who kept it to this day and chose to remain anonymous.