One of the most significant early personal computers of the 1970s, the restored original Apple I board with its components and accessories, is estimated to fetch US$300,000 when it becomes the subject of a live-bid auction on September 25.
The Apple I – or Apple 1 – was introduced in 1976, with origins that were legendarily humble. It was originally conceived by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs as a bare-board kit computer that would be sold to hobbyists, who would do the time-consuming task of actually assembling, soldering and testing the electronics. The Apple Computer Company that marketed the computer was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, and was based in Job's parents garage and financed by selling Job's VW Microbus and Wozniak's HP65 calculator.
According to RR Auction, Wozniak and Jobs took about 10 months hand-assembling 200 Apple I's. They sold 172 of them before going on to create the phenomenally successful Apple II, which helped to introduce the PC into common use in businesses and home and turned Apple into a major player in the computer industry. Through component dates matching similar boards, the Apple I up for auction is classed as a later production Byte-Shop style version made between late 1976 and early 1977.
Though it has been restored and tested, it has not been modified, as has been the case with other vintage Apple I's and is marked "Apple Computer 1, Palo Alto, Ca. Copyright 1976." The sale includes the Apple I board, the Apple Cassette Interface (ACI), the operation manual, a period surplus ASCII keyboard, an open frame Sanyo 4205 video monitor, a newer period power supply with the original Apple-1 power cable and connector, and BS period cassette interface cables.
It was restored by Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen, who operated it for eight hours under test conditions without a fault, and says that its condition is 8.5 out of 10. RR Auction will accept pre-live bids starting on September 13, while the live-bid auction will commence on September 25, 2018 at 1:00 PM EST.