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Meet the “Celebration” Apple-1, a tangible piece of technological history and one of the rarest and most unique computers in existence. It is the first production Apple computer ever created. This distinctive Apple-1 is slated to be auctioned on July 25 by Charitybuzz to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
The Apple Computer 1, retroactively referred to as the Apple-1, was Apple’s very first product. In the summer of 1976, a young Steve Wozniak, who was then a lowly engineer at Hewlett Packard, designed and hand-crafted 200 Apple-1 computers in Steve Jobs’ parents’ home in Los Altos, California. Around 175 of them were sold at a starting price of $666.66 and a mere 60 are believed to remain in existence today.
The Apple-1 was a landmark innovation in the history of home computing. While contemporary hobbyist computers usually came in kits, the Apple-1 came fully assembled with built-in computer terminal circuitry that made it simple to use. All you needed was a keyboard and television to get started. As Corey Cohen, a computer historian who consults for distinguished auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s, says: “The Apple-1 is the rookie baseball card. It is the first Apple computer.”
Even among its ultra-rare peers, the “Celebration” Apple-1 stands out. This is the only known Apple-1 to show signs of being built on a blank original-run board, not to mention it has different sockets and components that set it apart from other Apple-1 boards. Wozniak has confirmed that no known PCB boards of this type were ever sold to the public and that only a few were manually soldered.
Cohen declares that it is the most unique Apple-1 he has ever seen and notes “this could be one of the first, if not the first one produced.”
And it can be yours, albeit for a steep price. The auction of the Celebration Apple-1 commences in three days. If past winning bids for Apple-1’s are any indication, you can expect this computer to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more than one million. In 2014, the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan purchased an Apple-1 for a staggering $905,000.
If it pains you to imagine parting ways with such a large sum of money, you can take consolation in the fact that it will support an amazing cause. One-tenth of the proceeds of this auction will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, to support their cancer research, patient services, public education, community services, and advocacy. The auction is being administered by Charitybuzz, a philanthropic online auction house which partners with celebrities and brands to raise funds for various charitable causes.
Charitybuzz itself has quite a unique and innovative business model, and is known for auctioning celebrity-backed experiences to support non-profits and other good causes. In 2013, it auctioned off the chance to have coffee with Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple’s headquarters for $610,000, to benefit the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.
Charitybuzz has provided auction services for thousands of non-profit organizations and has raised over $120 million for clients and charities to date. Learn more here.
Will you be bidding on the Apple-1 for this great cause? Let us know in the comments below.