If you happen to have an original Apple computer in your basement, you could be sitting on half a million dollars.
Late last month, an Apple I computer was listed for auction by Auction Team Breker, a German technical-antiques specialist. It sold for a record-breaking €491,868, or $630,000, to an anonymous Internet bidder.
It was expected to sell for between €120,000 and €200,000 ($150,000-$250,000).
A Sotheby’s auction in New York set the previous record price of $374,500 in June 2012, reports computer historian David Greelish, on the Classic Computing blog.
What’s interesting is that the Apple I isn’t particularly rare. It’s not even hard to find collectors who own more than one, such as Lonnie Mimms, a computer collector in Roswell, Georgia. Greelish recently profiled him on his blog. Mimms has two in his collection, one working and one not.
Still, because the Apple I was Apple’s first production computer, it’s become a valuable favourite with collectors worldwide. Apple cofounders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs sold about 200 units. Woz built them by hand in 1976.
Woz signed some of the parts in the $630,000 computer. It still worked, too.
Take a look. Here it is in action as of October 2012.
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