Apple 1 computer world record up 38% in five months

One of just six operational Apple 1s - the first computers ever produced by the company - has sold for a world record €400,000 ($518,529) - €492,000 ($640,000) including buyer's premium - at auction in Germany, doubling its €200,000 estimate.

The machine, which was released solely as a motherboard, auctioned on November 24 alongside contemporaneous additional equipment, including a keyboard, monitor and power pack.

Apple 1 computer auction
The $518,529 motherboard, complete with accessories

Of the 200 produced in 1976, less than 50 are believed to still be in existence, and just six are thought to be operational.

Another of the six sold for $374,500 at a Sotheby's auction in New York in June, beating the previous world record of $213,000, set in 2010, by 75.8%.

The new record represents a 38.4% increase on June's figure and a 34.5% pa increase for the world record since 2010.

The auction is confirmation of the enduring love of the Apple brand, and the collectibility of items from its early years. We believe Steve Jobs' death last year, at the age of just 56, has also brought a number of nostalgic buyers into the market.

The provenance of the item also enhanced its appeal, with its ownership known from 1993 onwards.

Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs revealed the Apple 1 at the Homebrew Computer Club in early 1976, yet reaction was lukewarm, and their only initial order came from electronics chain store Byte Shop, which purchased 50.

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