Functioning Apple I computer sold for $640,000

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Rare computer systems and components are often worth a significant amount of money.

One such system is the original Apple I that sold last summer in an auction from Sotheby's for over $374,000. If you thought that was the highest price that an old original Apple Computer would ever fetch, well, you are wrong.

Yes, a working Apple I went up for auction at a German auction company known as Team Breker in November and ultimately sold for $640,000. 

Even components from the Apple I computers are worth big money. Last summer a functioning motherboard from an Apple I machine went up for auction and fetched $374,500, after initially being valued at $120,000-$180,000. That same auction also saw a handwritten note by Steve Jobs penned during his time at Atari sell for $27,500.

Apple only created 200 Apple I computers and each of the machines were hand built by Steve Wozniak. Today only 50 (intact) systems exist, with only 6 of those believed to be in working order. When the Apple I was released in 1976 the machine sold for $666.66 without a power supply, display, keyboard, or housing. The original sale price of the Apple I computer in 2011 money is $2597.62.

Lonnie Mimms has two Apple I machines amongst his collection. One of the machines is in working order with replacement parts, while the other is a non-functioning all original machine.

"The Apple 1, because of Apple's status now in the world, is the beginning of that company. For corporate America and for the computer industry, there isn't anything more iconic than that in existence," said Mimms.