A tempting first Apple computer
WHAT WILL FUTURE collectors make of the information technology revolution of the late 20th century? If previous trends are a guide. then early examples of items such as personal computers, laptops and mobile phones could become much sought-after antiques later this century. Remember those first “mobile” phones which looked – and weighed – like bricks? They already look like museum pieces but most were dumped or recycled. But the most transformational invention of recent decades has been the personal computer.
With technology constantly upgrading, new models appear in shops with dizzying frequency. Christie’s has announced the sale, in London next week (October 9th), of an Apple 1 computer which dates from 1976. The estimate is £50,000-£80,000(€62,000-€95,000).
“This is the computer that started Apple,” said James Hyslop, scientific specialist at Christie’s, “its significance in making computer technology accessible for all cannot be undervalued.”
The Apple-1 was sold without a casing, power supply, keyboard or monitor and buyers would have supplied their own. Priced at $666.66, the first Apple-1s were sent to purchasers direct from the garage of Steve Jobs’ parents’ house. It is not clear how many Apple-1s were sold but the model was officially discontinued by October 1977, after approximately 200 units were produced. It is estimated that fewer than 50 are still in existence.
In November 2010, an exceptional example of the Apple-1 sold at Christie’s London for £133,250 (€156,169). The computer was offered complete with original box, instruction manuals and a signed letter from Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple.
An Apple 1 computer from 1976. (€62,000-€95,000) at Christie’s