One of Apple's first computers goes up for auction

One of the first Apple computers ever built, and forerunner of today's MacBooks, iPads and iPhones, goes up for auction at Christie's next week.

The Apple 1 computer
The Apple 1 computer Credit: APTN

The Apple 1 from 1976 was designed by two college dropouts Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak who went on to create one of the world'd biggest companies. The computer could fetch more than £300,000.

It's owned by a retired school psychologist in the United States who has kept it stashed away in a cardboard box at his home outside Sacramento, California.

  • The green piece of plastic covered with a copper-coloured labyrinth of memory chips was one of the first 25 such computer elements, and sold for $666.66 (£430)
  • About 200 were made but most have disappeared or been discarded
  • Various estimates put the number known to still exist from about 30 to 50
  • They came with eight kilobytes of memory - a million times less than the average computer today
One of Apple's earliest creations
One of Apple's earliest creations Credit: APTN

It was actually designed by Woz (Steve Wozniak) so he was the techie. And (Steve) Jobs was the marketer. And Jobs was the one that kind of said 'let's have a company. Let's sell them.' And Woz kind of said 'Well, you know - why? I want to give it away.'

He wanted to give away the schematic. He was like 'I got one running and let's just get rid of the schematic because it's part of the home brew computer club.' And, and Jobs says 'Well, no, let's have a company'.

And Woz says 'Why?'. And he (Jobs) says 'Well, we can tell our grandkids that we had a company.' And so now they've had a company called Apple.

– Ted Perry, owner
Vintage Apple products have become increasingly in demand since the death of Steve Jobs
Vintage Apple products have become increasingly in demand since the death of Steve Jobs Credit: APTN

Tery Perry got his Apple computer in either 1979 as a second-hand item he saw advertised. He paid nothing for it, it was just a swap with the owner.

An early Apple circuit board
An early Apple circuit board Credit: APTN

At an earlier action in May, a working Apple 1 computer fetched £440,000 at auction.