Apple-1 sold by Steve Jobs fetches $365,000 at auction

Apple's beginnings in a Los Altos, Calif. garage are the stuff of legend. Steve Jobs sold the first Apple computers, dubbed Apple-1, out of his parents' garage for $666.66 apiece. Jobs and Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak only made about 200 units, and on Thursday the last known Apple-1 to be sold by Jobs out of the garage was auctioned off for $365,000.

Christie's auction house expected the fully functional computer, sold by Jobs to Charles Ricketts in 1976, to sell for $400,000 to $600,000, so the final selling price is a bit disappointing. Apple-1 units sold in recent years have commanded wildly disparate prices.

In October, The Henry Ford snagged an Apple-1 for display at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan for $905,000, almost double the high-end estimate. Auction house Bonhams said that computer might have been one of the first 50 produced in the Jobs family garage. It was also in mint condition with no modifications.

An Apple-1 registry keeps track of existing units and their whereabouts and pegs the number of remaining computers at 63, give or take a few. Most of those units don't work, though the one sold Thursday is still operational. In 2012, an Apple-1 unit sold for $640,000 while another fetched $374,500 at auction.


Caitlin McGarry

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