Original Apple I Computer Goes on the Block at Christie's

Original Apple I to be auctioned at Christie's
Original Apple I to be auctioned at Christie's

An original Apple I -- the first model of computer developed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak -- will go on the block at Christie's of London, where it's expected to fetch up to £80,000 (approximately $127,000).

That's about 190 times the original price -- $666.66 -- making the Apple I an amazing investment, as well as the first computer on the market with a pre-assembled motherboard. (Previously, the hobbyists who bought such machines had to put their computing components together themselves.)

Jobs and Wozniak created the Apple I in 1976, working by hand. They financed the project with the proceeds from the sale of Jobs' VW van and Wozniak's HP-65 calculator. Around 200 units were made; they were sent to buyers from Jobs' parents' garage in Palo Alto, Calif.

The Apple I came without a keyboard, case, monitor, or power supply. It contained 4KB of memory (expandable to 8KB or 48KB with external cards); by contrast, as The Daily Mailpoints out, the latest iPod boasts 64 GB. At the time, however, the storage capacity of Jobs and Wozniak's brainchild was exceptional.

The computer, to be sold at Christie's on Oct. 9, comes from the estate of Joe Copson, who once worked at Apple (AAPL) -- currently the most valuable company in the world. Christie's previously sold an Apple I for £130,000 ($210,000 at the time); the price was enhanced by the presence of the original packaging and a signed sales letter from Jobs, who attended the auction.

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