Collectors of Apple products have the chance to own an original Apple computer that was hand built by the tech giant’s founders, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, some 45 years ago.
The functioning Apple-1, considered to be the great-great-grandfather of today’s sleek chrome-and-glass Macbooks, is expected to fetch up to US$600,000 at an auction in California.
Known as the “Chaffey College” Apple-1 is one of only 200 made by Jobs and Wozniak at the very start of the company’s odyssey from their famed garage start-up to megalith worth US$2 trillion.
What further adds to it rarity is the fact that this computer is encased in koa wood, a richly patinated wood native to Hawaii. Only a handful of the original 200 were made on this pattern.
Jobs and Wozniak mostly sold Apple-1s as component parts. One computer shop that took a delivery of around 50 units decided to encase some of them in wood, the auction house shared. “This is kind of the holy grail for vintage electronics and computer tech collectors,” Apple-1 expert, Corey Cohen told the Los Angeles Times. “That really makes it exciting for a lot of people.”
According to The Los Angeles Times reported the student — who has not been named — paid just US$650 for it at the time. That student now stands to make a pretty penny: a working Apple-1 that came to the market in 2014 was sold by Bonhams for more than US$900,000.
Apple raced to success in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but foundered after the departure of Jobs and Wozniak. The company was reinvigorated in the late 1990s, and Jobs was brought back into the fold as the chief executive. He oversaw the launch of the iPod, and later the iPhone, before his death in 2011.