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Apple-1 sells for £440,000, sets world record price

One of only six working Apple-1 computers has sold at auction for a whopping £441,709, and it's all down to an enterprising Texan.

An original Apple-1 computer has fetched a whopping £441,709 at an auction in Germany, setting a new record, The New York Times reports. Last November, an Apple-1 sold for £423,000 at the same auction house, Auction Team Breker. Both surpassed the £240,000 another Apple-1 fetched last June.

The record-breaking Apple-1 sold to an anonymous telephone bidder in the Far East for 516,461 euros. It was one of the first 50 computers made by Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in Jobs' parents' garage. So why did it fetch a higher price than the others? Well, it all started with an octogenarian jazz fan in New Orleans…

Fred Hatfield, a retired electrical engineer, owned the Apple-1 until earlier this year. It didn't work. A young man from Texas knew an opportunity when he saw it, so he inquired, and Hatfield sold it to him for $40,000 (£26,430).

The Texan put in some new wiring, tinkered about and got it up and running. He also had it signed by Steve Wozniak, adding to its value.

When Hatfield heard how much the Texan had sold his computer for, he exclaimed: "My God," before adding, "Best to him. He's the one who fixed it up and figured the best way to sell it for all that money. Evidently he's very good at this."

Only 200 Apple-1s were ever made, and only about 46 are still knocking around. Of those, only about six still work. This is one of those select few.

According to Bob Luther, author of The First Apple, the machine is the "holy grail of collectable technology".

Yeah, but can it play Angry Birds? Thought not.

What retro kit have you got clogging up your attic? Have you ever sold any for a song? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.

Image credit: Auction Team Breker