Apple-1 computer built by Jobs and Wozniak auctioned off

Vintage computer featuring rare Koa wood encasing sold for $500,000

An original Apple computer hand-built by company founders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs went up for auction in the US on Tuesday.

The Apple-1 unit, built in 1976, sold for $500,000.

The computer is one of the few remaining examples of Apple's first-ever computer and is considered the great-great-grandfather of today's sleek MacBooks, John Moran Auctioneers said.

“This is kind of the holy grail for vintage electronics and computer tech collectors,” Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen told The Los Angeles Times.

The so-called Chaffey College Apple-1 is one of only 200 made by Jobs and Mr Wozniak at the very start of the company's odyssey from garage start-up to a company now worth $2 trillion.

This unit has only ever had two owners, per the auctioneers. An electronics professor at Chaffey College originally purchased it before selling it to a student in 1977.

The unnamed former student paid $650 at the time and has held o nto the vintage device for four decades, the LA Times reported.

This would not be the first Apple-1 to be sold at a jaw-dropping price. An auction house in New York sold an Apple-1 device for more than $900,000 in 2014.

What makes this vintage device so valuable is its rare Koa wood encasing and is only one of six in the world to feature it.

Koa wood was abundant in the 1970s but, because of cattle grazing and extensive logging, is much rarer and expensive today.

The computer "has recently undergone an extensive authentication, restoration and evaluation process by one of the foremost experts in the field, who inspected all components and generated a full condition report", the listing said.

The unit also comes with a copy of the Apple-1 basic manual, an original programming manual, two Apple-1 software cassette tapes as well as three original video, power and cassette interface cables.

Sixty of the Apple-1 computers are known to still exist, with only about 20 capable of functioning, Mr Cohen said.

Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: November 10th 2021, 7:19 PM