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Want to buy a Woz-made Apple I? If you need to ask the price, you can't afford it

Auction house set to put rare fruit on the block

A US auction house is preparing to bid off a piece of Apple Computer history that could fetch more than $500,000.

Bonhams will auction off a rare Apple I system handmade by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak when the biz was in its infancy.

According to the auction house, the model was assembled by Woz in 1976 as part of an order for 50 systems by local store Byte Shop. Touted at the time as a complete PC, the Apple I would today be considered little more than a DIY kit; customers had to supply their own case, keyboard, power supply and monitor.

The Apple I features a 1MHz MOS 6502 processor, 4K of memory and a 280 x 192 monochrome display output. It sold for $666.66.

Apple I set for auction

The Apple I set for auction. Courtesy: Bonhams
click to enlarge

While Jobs and Wozniak only sold a handful of the computers, the success was enough to get the fledgling company to its second product: the wildly successful Apple II. When the company became an international brand on the strength of that microcomputer, and the Macintosh in the 1980s, Jobs and Woz rocketed to fame, and the Apple I became a collector's item.

The unit being sold was acquired by John Anderson of Cincinnati in 1980 and has been kept in pristine condition in a glass box for the past 25 years. The system was powered up last month, and has been verified to be in working condition without the need for replacement parts.

Bonhams estimates that the model, one of the few Apple I's which is still in working condition, will sell for anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000. In 2013, an Apple I sold for $387,750 in an online auction by Christie's.

Bonham's said it will be displaying the Apple I to the public in San Francisco from September 19-21 before transporting the board to New York for its 22 October auction. ®

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