Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023

Steve Jobs’s Apple-1 Computer prototype is on the auction block

Steve Jobs’s Apple-1 Computer prototype is being auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction, with current bids at $278,005.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is pictured here during WWDC. (File photo)

A rare piece of history from Apple Inc.’s storied early days in Silicon Valley will go to the highest bidder. Steve Jobs’s Apple-1 Computer prototype is being auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction, with current bids at $278,005. Bidding ends on Aug. 18. RR Auction sold the Apple-1 computer in September 2018 for $375,000.

The prototype, which was considered “lost” until recently, is what the Apple co-founder used to demonstrate the Apple-1 to personal computer store owner Paul Terrell in 1976. According to the item description on RR Auction’s website, Jobs and co-founder Steve Wozniak originally envisioned the Apple-1 computer as part of a $40 do-it-yourself kit. Terrell convinced the entrepreneurs to turn the product into a pre-assembled personal computer for $666.66 and gave them their first big order.

“There is no Apple-1 without this board— it’s the holy grail of Steve Jobs and Apple memorabilia,” said Bobby Livingston, executive vice president at RR Auction.

The device passed through Wozniak’s hands, too: The prototype appears to have been hand-soldered by Wozniak on a unique “Apple Computer A” circuit board, according to auction house description. The prototype shows Wozniak’s unusual “three-handed technique” using a wire in one hand, soldering iron in the older and solder with his mouth.

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In 1976, Terrell took Polaroid photos of the prototype, which were matched to the circuit board. The prototype was examined and authenticated in 2022 by Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen, who also wrote an accompanying 13-page report.

First published on: 26-07-2022 at 13:12 IST
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