Original Apple 1 a steal at $127,000

Christie's is auctioning off one of the 50 or so still-existing Woz-built Apple 1 computers, and compared with what the last such Apple 1 went for, the asking price here may well be a bargain.

Donna Tam
Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.

Another original Apple 1 computer is up for sale, and this time it's expected to fetch no more than $127,000, a steal compared with the last unit sold.

Christie's is putting the rare computer -- each model was designed and hand-built by Steve Wozniak with input from the late Steve Jobs -- on sale in October, the auction house announced today.

The Apple co-founders produced about 200 of these units and fewer than 50 still exist, according to Christie's. Originally sold for $666.66 from July 1976 to October 1977, the computer that started it all is now selling for tens of thousands of dollars.

This particular unit, serial number 22, comes from the home of Joe Copson, a former Apple employee, and Christie's expects to sell the model for between $79,000 to $127,000.

In 2010, Another Apple 1 model, offered without a casing but with the original box, instruction manuals, and a signed letter from Jobs, sold for $210,700 at auction. Wozniak attended the auction and threw in an autographed letter with the sale.

None of these figures can touch the sale of a working Apple 1 motherboard -- of which, Sotheby's says, six are thought to exist. The item was sold earlier this year for a staggering $374,500 after being listed with an estimated sale price of between $120,000 and $180,000.