Auctions — November 5, 2013 at 10:15 am

Boxed Apple 1 at Auction Team Breker Nov. 16

In May 2013 AuctionTeamBreker of Cologne, Germany, made world news by breaking the record price for an Apple 1 Computer. The 1976 original unit surpassed all expectations when it sold for 516.461 Euro (671,400 US$).

On the 16th November AuctionTeamBreker will be offering another Apple 1 Computer, but this time with its original white cardboard box (Estimate: 250.000 – 400.000 Euro / 300,000 – 500,000 US$). The unit, numbered “46”, comes from the first batch of 50 computers by Apple‘s first client, the Byte Shop. “No. 46” is one of very few Apple 1s still in working order (please see YouTube/AuctionTeamBreker), as well as the only known example in its original box!

A scarce photograph of the bedroom in Jobs‘ parents’ house shows a stack of identical boxes of the first order of 50 units. Although 500.000 Euro / 670,000 US$ for a computer that does not even have the internet may seem staggering, the Apple 1 phenomenon has had a steady build-up. Early model Apple Computers have been changing hands privately for many years but have only lately started to appear at public auctions. Apple’s instant brand recognition and customer loyalty for its newest, as well as its oldest, products is one of the main factors behind record prices.

Although Apple 1 was not outstandingly advanced for its time, it was the first product of today‘s most valuable company. It is arguably their most iconic invention. There is, however, a third factor as important as the first two: nostalgia. Collectors tend to identify with the items they remember as youngsters, especially in an ever-changing field like computing. Not only does the »Apple 1« carry an unmistakable historical importance as one of the first affordable home computers, it is a tangible symbol of the ‘American Dream’; two young students had an idea… and 35 years later it became the most successful company in the world. Valuing a cultural icon is not an easy task. The latest world record price, however, can be viewed in the context of other iconic modern-day collectables such as the first issue of the Action Comics Magazine, from 1938, which sold for US$ 2,890,000 / 2.230.000 Euro, the world‘s most expensive Barbie Doll, 1999 for US$ 302,500 / 268.000 Euro or the costliest Leica Camera, 1955 for 2,184,000 US$ / 1.680.000 Euro. – So what is the current value of a working, Wozniak-signed Apple I Computer with its original software and original box? Apple fans across the world will be tuning in to on 16 November to find out!

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