THE ASCENT OF early PC technology continued last week when an ‘Apple 1’ computer from 1976 reached a new world record price of Euro 516,461 (US $671,400) at Auction Team Breker in Cologne, Germany.
The antique technology specialist made international news on November 24, 2012 for selling another ‘Apple 1’ for the then record price of Euro 491,868 (US $640,000). The ‘Apple 1’ (Lot 14) was sold on May 25, 2013 to a collector in the Far East who wants to be anonymous.
Although these figures seem staggering, the ‘Apple 1’ phenomenon has had quite a steady build up. Early model ‘Apple’ computers have been changing hands privately for many years but have only recently started to appear at public auctions.
One of the main factors behind the record prices has been condition. Both machines sold in Germany were fully-operational computers. According to Mike Willegal, author of the Apple Registry, there are only 46 ‘Apple 1’ units in existence, and of these just 6 still work.