Auction Team Breker in Cologne have sold a technical rarity of the highest order – one of the six known working models of the first computer ever made by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, the founders of Apple.
In 1976 the duo had set up the company and
put together their Apple I in the garage of the house belonging to
Jobs' parents in Palo Alto in California.
This was the basis for the first
personal computer; the buyer still had to add a keyboard, a video
display and a cassette recorder for use as a storage medium.
About 200 Apple I computers were
manufactured and sold for $666.66.
Of these, 43 are thought to survive, so the
discovery of a working model caused a major stir in computer
Breker beat the drum in the run-up to the
auction on November 24, even advertising the sale on the electronic
screen in New York's Times Square.
With an estimate of €120,000-150,000, there
was plenty of scope for bidders. After all, in July 2012
Sotheby's in New York sold another working Apple I for $310,000
On auction day the bidding went way past
this mark and reached €400,000 (£325,205) before the anonymous
buyer, appropriately enough bidding online, could settle the
matter. With premium, that is almost €500,000 - or about
The buyer's premium was 22.97%