Apple's original computer fetches $400,000 at US auction

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A press image of an Apple 1 computer supplied by John Moran Auctioneers, Inc.Image source, John Moran Auctioneers, Inc.
Image caption,
The sold Apple-1 computer has only had two owners

An original Apple computer built by firm co-founders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in 1976 has fetched $400,000 (£294,990) at auction in the US.

The rare Hawaiian koa wood-cased Apple-1 - still functioning - is one of only 200 made and sold in kit form.

The computer has only had two owners, a college professor and his student to whom he sold the machine for $650, said John Moran Auctioneers in California.

The sale included user manuals and Apple software on two cassette tapes.

"This is kind of the holy grail for vintage electronics and computer tech collectors," Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen told the Los Angeles Times ahead of Tuesday's auction in the city of Monrovia, near Los Angeles.

"That really makes it exciting for a lot of people."

The koa wood case of the auctioned model was added by a pioneering early computer retailer, ByteShop, in California, which took delivery of around 50 of the Apple-1 machines.

Image source, John Moran Auctioneers, Inc.

Jobs, Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne founded Apple on 1 April 1976 in a garage in California.

To help finance the Apple 1 production, Jobs sold his VW Microbus, while Wozniak sold his HP-65 calculator for $500.

In 1976, the machines were sold for $666.66, reportedly because Wozniak liked repeating numbers.

It is believed there are around 20 such computers in the world still capable of functioning.

The auctioned machine is not the highest-grossing Apple-1 computer - that distinction belongs to a working version that sold for $905,000 at a Bonhams auction in New York in 2014.

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