presents the opportunity for collectors to purchase a rare original Apple personal computer, now known as the Apple-1, serial number 22, directly from the estate of Joe Copson, a former Apple employee. Realised in 1976 by the Apple Computer Company, the Apple-1 machine was designed and each model hand-built by Steve Wozniak. His friend Steve Jobs suggested a number of improvements, and handled its sale and marketing. The pair famously invested all they could to finance the first Apple creation, with Jobs selling his only mode of transportation, his VW and Wozniak his HP-65 calculator to generate enough funds for the project. When offered at auction within Christies sale of TRAVEL, SCIENCE AND NATURAL HISTORY including the Polar Sale to commemorate the Scott Centenary, 1912-2012 on 9 October 2012, the Apple-1 is expected to fetch between £50,000 and £80,000.
James Hyslop, Scientific Specialist, Christies commented, This is the computer that started Apple, now recognized as the most valuable company in the world; its significance in making computer technology accessible for all cannot be undervalued.
Ground-breaking at the time of its invention and intended to make technology more accessible, the Apple-1 consisted of a pre-assembled motherboard, representing a major step forward in the world of computing when all other examples on the market were bought as self-assembly kits requiring engineering prior to use. Introduced in July 1976 at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California, the Apple-1 was sold without a casing, power supply, keyboard or monitor and buyers would have supplied their own. All one needed was a keyboard and an inexpensive television set to operate it. Priced at $666.66, the first Apple-1s were sent to purchasers direct from the garage of Steve Jobs' parents' house. It is not clear how many Apple-1s were sold, but by April 1977 the price was dropped to $475, and it continued to be sold through August 1977, despite the introduction of the Apple II in April 1977 (a major advance with integrated keyboard, sound, a plastic case, and eight internal expansion slots). It was officially discontinued by October 1977, after approximately 200 units were produced. It is estimated that less than fifty are still in existence today.
In November 2010, an exceptional example of the Apple-1 sold at Christies London for £133,250 / $212,267 / 156,169. The computer was offered complete with original box, instruction manuals and a signed letter from Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple. The other prominent co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, attended the auction. It was sold by a private collector and acquired by Marco Boglione, a private Italian collector.