If you’ve ever wanted to own a piece of Apple history, now is your chance. Only a few Apple-1 computers exist, and even fewer are in as pristine condition as the one going up for auction tomorrow. Not only that, but this extremely rare computer was signed by its creator: Steve Wozniak.
Being sold by the founder of the AAPL Collection, Jimmy Grewal, this Apple-1 has all the original components along with a keyboard, monitor, and a cassette player from the same era. The computer has an estimated value of between $US460,000 ($638,572) and $US485,000 ($673,277), but it could fetch an even higher price at auction.
Proceeds from the sale of this Apple-1 will be put toward creating opportunities for the public to see Grewal’s collection of rare Apple products, which includes nearly 200 Apple computers as well as numerous accessories and memorabilia. That could come in the form of pop-up exhibitions or a permanent museum of sorts, Grewal says.
Apple started selling its first-ever product, the Apple-1, about 45 years ago. Around 200 were sold — 50 to a local electronics store called Byte Shop — and of those, 82 or so still exist. That makes this collector’s item, which is listed on the Apple-1 Registry as #89, part of a very rare breed of historic Apple devices.
What’s particularly enticing about this Apple-1 is that it contains all of the original components and is in “remarkable working condition.” Moreover, it is one of only two that were originally purchased by an executive at the oil services company Schlumberger Overseas S.A. Hence the name of this specific model: Schlumberger 2 Apple-1. The oil folks took these computers over to Europe, where this one was acquired by the AAPL Collection, which claims that this could be the first Apple product that was ever taken outside of North America.
The story of how Wozniak’s John Hancock ended up on the computer is less interesting. In 2021, Grewal had a chance to meet Wozniak, who signed the iconic white 6502 CPU. I say “less interesting,” but the unbridled joy Wozniak oozes when he sees his old creation will make you smile all the way up to WWDC 2022. Also in the below video is a brief demo of the Apple-1 in action.
As a bit of a keyboard geek, I want to also call out the rare 1970s Cherry keyboard included in the action. Listed as being in as-new condition, this Cherry keyboard supposedly has the distinctive feel and sound (which you can hear in the video) of these beloved German-made mechanical keyboards, and it works just fine with the Apple-1.
While this particular Apple-1 is expected to nab around half a million dollars, others have sold for even more. In December 2020, an Apple-1 was sold at auction for $US736,862 ($1,022,912), and in 2014, the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan acquired the computer for $US905,000 ($1,256,321). This Schlumberger 2 Apple-1 will go live on eBay on June 2nd, 2022, at 9:00am PT, and the auction will continue for ten days.