Rare Apple-1 fetches $512,000 at auction

An Apple-1 on display at an online auction. The Apple-1 originally went for US$666.66, when it was sold by the Byte Shop computer store in Mountain View, California.
An Apple-1 on display at an online auction. The Apple-1 originally went for US$666.66, when it was sold by the Byte Shop computer store in Mountain View, California.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SAN FRANCISCO • An Apple-1, a rare model of the first computer produced by the now-iconic tech firm, fetched US$375,000 (S$512,000) at an auction this week, according to Boston-based RR Auction.

The computer was among 175 sold by Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak from their production in a garage in Silicon Valley in the company's early days in 1976 and 1977.

The model originally went for US$666.66, when it was sold by the Byte Shop computer store in Mountain View, California.

Mr Jobs and Mr Wozniak initially designed the Apple-1 as a bare circuit board to be sold as a kit and completed by electronics hobbyists, but Byte Shop owner Paul Terrell agreed to buy 50 if they were fully assembled and did not require soldering by the buyer.

According to RR, the computer sold this week was restored to original running condition in June and included the original Apple-1 board, a cassette interface, keyboard and other equipment.

The selling price was, however, far from a record. Another Apple-1 computer went for US$905,000 in 2014.

Separately, an Australian who hacked Apple's systems over several months when he was a teenager and downloaded sensitive data avoided a jail term yesterday, as a court heard he was fascinated by the tech giant and found accessing its networks addictive.

The now-adult defendant, who was 16 at the time the hacking began, accessed Apple's internal systems and copied data and authentication keys, a magistrate told a Children's Court.

No conviction was recorded against the hacker, who pleaded guilty to two charges, and he was given an eight-month probation order. The hacking took place over two periods, between June 2015 and November 2016, and in April last year, the magistrate said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2018, with the headline 'Rare Apple-1 fetches $512,000 at auction'. Print Edition | Subscribe