Yesterday, a vintage Apple-1 personal computer, which was sold by Steve Jobs and team to its first owner exactly 38 years back, went for a whopping $365,000 at Christie’s, New York City. The sum might be big, but it’s thousands less than the lowest estimate made by the auction house. Previously, the auction house predicted that the Apple-1 personal computer will fetch a price between $400k and $600k.
Bob Luther, the seller of the computer, when talking about the price received by the 38-year-old Apple computer, said that he is a bit disappointed to see the machine get such a low price. However, he also expressed his happiness about the fact that he has managed to sell the computer off and said that he is ready to move on.
Luther added that owning a computer with such historic value has been a really incredible experience for him. He further said that he is not too much diversified in his 401(k) as a large part of it is in the company’s (Apple) stock and informed that the stock has been extremely good to him.
The auction at Christie witnessed bidding on another precious item related to the initial days of Apple; it’s not any Apple device, but a compilation of documents. Ron Wayne, who is the 3rd and probably the least known Apple co-founder, sold a set of documents for $25,000 at the auction on Thursday. The price fetched by these documents was also much below than what was estimated by Christie.
Wayne, who is now 80 years old, had a 10% partnership in Apple when the company was first formed. However, within just a few days of joining, he decided to back out. Wayne got $800 for giving up his shares.
The Apple-1 computer sold by Luther is special not just because it is rare (only around 60 pieces of this computer are known to exist at this moment), but also due to its provenance. Along with the computer, there was a July 1976 check (of $600), signed and later canceled by Charles Ricketts, the actual owner of the machine.
Here, it must be noted that Luther bought the computer in 2004 at a public auction for just $7,600. Luther has penned down all the details of his tryst with the first ever Apple computer to be sold in his book “The First Apple”.
Apple products with antique value usually fetch good price when auctioned. Recently we saw the first generation iPod, the iPod Classic (the company stopped making the product earlier this year), being sold for $20,000 on eBay.