The $10,000 gold-plated iPad has a rival in the battle of most expensive Apple computer of the year. Over the weekend, one of the first Apple-1 computers created by Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak sold for $671,400 (516,461 euros) at an auction in Germany.
While one of the same types of computers didn’t manage to hit the $80,000 minimum at Christie’s earlier this year, the model that was auctioned off at Auction Team Breker, an auction house in Cologne, is still functioning and includes a letter from Steve Jobs himself.
According to auctioneer Uwe H. Breker, the hand-assembled Apple-1 came from Fred Hatfield. Hatfield, who worked at Computer Data Systems in Columbus, Ohio, bought the computer from Apple for around $700 in 1976. A letter from Jobs, which is included with the auctioned-off computer, offered Hatfield an exchange of the Apple-1 for the Apple II for just $400. Hatfield turned down the deal.
The computer was purchased by an anonymous buyer on Saturday. Breker said he was not surprised that the Apple-1 went for so much. “It’s not only the technology of world’s 1st ready-to-use PC, it’s more the symbol of the American Dream,” Breker said. “The story of two dropouts, who had a superb idea. Thirty-five years later their company is the richest and highest ever valued company.”
The Apple 1 was the first computer ever made by Apple and was hand-built by Wozniak in Steve Jobs’ garage. It was priced at $666.66. It was sold without a case, keyboard or monitor.
This is the most money paid for one of the first Apple-1 computers. In November 2012 a model at Auction Team Breker went for $640,000 and in July 2012 a model went for $375,000 at Sotheby’s. According to Breker, there are only six working models of the computer left.