A woman dropped off an Apple 1 computer at a recycling firm not realizing it could be worth up to $905,000

Anita Durairaj

Apple 1 microcomputer on displayPhoto byCynde Moya; CC-BY-SA-4.0

The Apple Computer 1 or Apple-1 was the original computer that was first designed by Steve Wozniak. Both Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Inc.

The Apple-1 was Apple's first product and there were only 200 units sold. The first prototype of the computer was demonstrated in 1976 and production was discontinued in 1977 to make way for Apple- II.

The first batch of 50 Apple-1s was sold to a computer store in Mountain View, California for $500 each. This was the wholesale price. The sale price of the computer to the public was $666.66 because Wozniak liked repeating units.

When the Apple-IIs came out, Wozniak and Jobs offered discounts and trade-ins for customers to return their Apple-1s in exchange for the Apple IIs. Any recovered boards from Apple-1 were destroyed resulting in Apple-1s becoming very rare. By the end of it all, there were only 63 surviving authentic Apple-1 computers.

Fast forward a few decades and the rarity and value of Apple-1 are finally revealed.

In an incident that took place around 2015, a woman was cleaning up her garage after her husband died. She decided to drop off some electronic goods at a recycling firm in Milpitas, California.

The recycling firm discovered that the box of computer parts contained a 1976 Apple-1. The firm auctioned off the Apple-1 for $200,000. Their policy was to split the proceeds 50-50 with the person who made the donation. The woman would have received $100,000.

Apple-1 computers have sold as much as $905,000. The sale price depends on the condition of the computer and whether it contains its original components. The configuration of the computer and whether it is still working would also be important considerations.

In the most recent sale in 2022, an Apple-1 sold for nearly $700,000.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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