‘Rare’ 70s Apple computer fails to sell at auction
AS lengthy, overnight queues for the Apple iPhone 5 demonstrate, the San Francisco firm’s products are rarely met with anything less than feverish excitement. But another gadget from the technology giant was greeted with a rather more lukewarm response from buyers after failing to sell at auction in London today.
An original Apple home computer from the 1970s, the Apple-1, failed to sell at London auction house Christie’s despite expecting to fetch £80,000.
The Apple-1, which comes with no screen and just 4KB of memory, was built in 1976 and had an original retail price of US$666.66. The Apple-1 came without a casing, power supply, keyboard or monitor.
Bidders at the auction failed to improve on a £32,000 offer made for the computer, which had a reserve price of £50,000.
It is thought that only around 50 Apple-1 computers remain in existence worldwide.
Auctioneers Christie’s said the Apple-1 machine was designed and hand-built by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
His friend Mr Jobs suggested a number of improvements, and handled its sale and marketing. The first Apple 1s were sent to buyers direct from the garage of Mr Jobs’ parents’ house.
To generate enough funds to finance the project, Mr Jobs famously sold his VW and Mr Wozniak his HP-65 calculator.
It was officially discontinued by October 1977, after around 200 units were produced.
In November 2010, an Apple-1 sold at Christie’s in London for £133,250. The computer came with original box, instruction manuals and a signed letter from Steve Jobs, who led Apple until his death last year.
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