It was designed and built by Steve Wozniak in Palo Alto, California. The late Jobs came up with the idea of selling it and the pair went on to found Apple, now the world’s most valuable technology company.
The original device comprised a single motherboard mounted on a wooden base, but came without a keyboard, a transformer or a display. It sold for $666.66, a price determined by Jobs, who thought the unusual number would be eye-catching.
Though the device never took off, it was the precursor to Apple’s breakthrough product – the Apple II, a machine that looks far more like today’s desktop PCs and considered one of the most revolutionary computers ever created.
The Apple 1 sold yesterday is believed to be among the first 25 produced. It was inscribed with the serial number 01-0025 in black ink and was handbuilt by Mr Wozniak. He signed his work “Woz”, the nickname that his friends and fans continue to call him. The date code on the its processor is “1576,” suggesting the chip was manufactured in the 15th week of 1976, or early April.
Today, Apple is known for creating expensive products such as its bestselling iPhone, unashamedly pitching them as luxury devices that millions desire as both a status symbol and useful gadget.
But the prices for Apple’s current devices pale into comparison to its vintage products, where there has been a booming market in recent years.
Last month, an Apple 1 was sold at auction in Cologne, Germany for $671,400, breaking all previous records for sales of a personal computer. By comparison, early Apple devices were being sold in 2007 for the relatively affordable price of between $15,000 and $25,000.
However, in this period, Apple’s iconic status has grown, resulting in more interest in the company’s humble origins. Apple has released ground-breaking products, such as the iPad tablet computer in 2010. Jobs died in 2011, leading to world and business leaders describing him as a technological pioneer who changed the way millions live their lives.