Steve Jobs' Apple-1 Computer prototype sold for $677,196 at auction

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Steve Jobs' Apple-1 Computer prototype sold for $677,196 at auction
In 1976, Jobs used this prototype to demonstrate the Apple-1 to Paul Terrell, owner of The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California, one of the first personal computer stores in the world.

BOSTON, MASS.- Steve Jobs' Apple-1 Computer prototype sold for $677,196, according to Boston-based RR Auction.

In 1976, Jobs used this prototype to demonstrate the Apple-1 to Paul Terrell, owner of The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California, one of the first personal computer stores in the world.

The demo resulted in Apple Computer's first big order and changed the course of the company—what Jobs and Woz had conceived as part of a $40 do-it-yourself kit for hobbyists became, at Terrell's request, a fully assembled personal computer to be sold at $666.66. Wozniak later placed Terrell's purchase order for fifty Apple-1s in perspective: 'That was the biggest single episode in all of the company's history. Nothing in subsequent years was so great and so unexpected.'

The board has been matched to Polaroid photographs taken by Paul Terrell in 1976, showing the prototype in use.

"In conversations with Paul Terrell, after reviewing the images, we both agreed that he photographed this Apple-1 prototype while it was fully operational in the Byte Shop in 1976," said Bobby Livingston Executive VP at RR Auction.

Achim Baqué of the Apple-1 Registry also covers this Apple-1 prototype, listed as #2 on the Apple-1 Registry, which was examined and authenticated in 2022 by Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen. Cohen's notarized thirteen-page report accompanies the sale.

This prototype resided on the 'Apple Garage' property for many years before being given by Steve Jobs to its current owner approximately 30 years ago.

Few Apple artifacts could be considered as rare, early, or historic as this Apple-1 prototype, which spent many years on the 'Apple Garage' property—a site now entwined in the folklore of American business, where two unlikely heroes founded an empire. Moreover, it is the perfect embodiment of the symbiosis between Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Silicon Valley: the brilliant businessman, the electronics Einstein, and the infrastructure in which they thrived. Without Wozniak, Jobs had no product—he very nearly joined a company marketing balance scales made out of cardboard.

Without Jobs, Woz had no market—he had already given away the Apple-1 design to members of the Homebrew Computer Club and had little interest in exploiting it for profit. Without this prototype and without Paul Terrell, the Apple-1 might have been 'just another computer kit.'

"There is no Apple-1 without this board— it's the holy grail of Steve Jobs and Apple memorabilia," said Bobby Livingston.

The winning bid was from a Bay Area collector who wishes to remain anonymous.

Additional highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:

• Apple iPhone first generation, sealed new-in-box example sold for $35,414.

• Steve Jobs signed tax-exemption card from 1976 sold for $32,619.

• Steve Jobs signed Apple Computer check payable to the Village Copy

• Corner in the amount of $5.41, sold for $31,285.

• Steve Jobs signed "Insanely great" NeXT job offer sold for $27,452.

• Apple iPod first generation sealed sold for $25,000.

• Steve Wozniak's custom-made Apple rainbow glasses sold for $21,823.

• Allan Alcorn and Steve Wozniak: Tektronix 465 Oscilloscope used to Design the Pong Video Game and the Apple II Computer sold for $12,500.

The Apple, Jobs, and Computer Hardware auction by RR Auction began on July 21 and concluded on August 18.

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