Among about 200 Apple-1, some are casually resurfacing, like this unit left at the beginning of this year in a recycling center by a widow among boxes of obsolete electronic equipment. The owner had failed to provide her identity.
The serial numbers from 01-0011 to 01-0070 were not assigned by Apple and do not fully match with the units sold by Byte Shop. Yet they remain a good indicator of the very first production, before a change of source of the PCB.
These pioneers of the personal computer obviously appeal to the museums, provided they are in working condition. One of them, sold for $ 375K including premium by Sotheby's on 15 June 2012, is displayed by the Nexon Computer Museum in South Korea. Another one was sold for $ 900K including premium at auction by Bonhams on October 22, 2014 to the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.
The growing interest in the Apple-1 led to the discovery of functional units that were previously unknown. The registry carefully maintained by Mike Willegal identifies no less than 16 Apple-1 whose satisfactory operational status has been verified since 2010. This high rate is explained by the fact that the Apple-1 was rarely used by its customers due to the significant improvements offered by the Apple-II from the following year.
Bonhams is familiar with these machines. Yet the near new condition, with no peeling in the printed circuit, of the motherboard 01-0059 for sale by them in New York on September 21 arouses their admiration. Its history is exemplary. Its first owner who sold it before 1981 to a specialized dealer stated that he had powered it only once or twice, and the dealer kept in on his shelf.
This Apple-1 is estimated $ 300K, lot 77. The video shared by the auction house is confirming its remarkable condition.