A Bite of the Apple: John Moran Auctions a Rare Apple-1 Computer

by | Nov 14, 2021 | Growing the Business

On November 9, 2021, John Moran Auctions in Monrovia, CA auctioned one of the original Apple-1 computers for $500,000.  The two-owner vintage computer came to the auction house in excellent condition, featured many period-correct and original parts, and was in true working order was astounding. Moran’s flew in the foremost expert in his field to authenticate, inspect, and generate a full condition report for the Apple-1 so that buyers can bid with confidence.  “We are delighted that we were able to bring the “Chaffey College” Apple-1 to market and have it realize the impressive price of $500,000.   It’s incredible that in this day in age that an important tech relic can now compete at auction with prominent pieces of fine art.  Moran’s anticipates an increasing demand for early examples of tech history.”  Noelle Valentino,
Trusts & Estates Department Manager for John Moran Auctioneers.

Here’s the Apple-1 story.

The Almost Golden Apple

This year marks the 45th birthday of Apple. Five more years before they turn Golden, but as of now, 45 years mark their Sapphire Anniversary. It has come a very long way since tech geniuses and marketing gurus Steve Wozniak and the late Steve Jobs founded the company.

Now estimated at a trillion-dollar range for its market value, it’s one of the largest companies not just in technology but across other industries in human history. Needless to say, the two Steves, or as some fans affectionately call them, Steve Squared, have changed the landscape of the technology industry, together with their employees in 1976, Apple’s founding year.

Decades ago, the first Apple computer they built is roughly ten times the size of the Apple MacBook now in terms of thickness. Talk about progress thanks to science and technology. Now nobody has to lug around a huge boxy computer that contains a hefty 200MB.

Apple-1 as the Golden Fossil

Its accolades aside, the humble Apple Computer 1 or the Apple-1 is where it all started. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs built around 200 Apple-1 units by hand in their garage office in the Bay Area and sold these to various tech shops and brands. That was a while back so understandably, these units have gone obsolete and were disposed of accordingly.

Nobody who owned it at the time knew just how much value it would hold as a collectible 45 years later. Now, tech lovers are jumping at the chance to even just get a glimpse of the Apple-1 in person. Lucky for them and everyone interested, including us, John Moran Auctioneers will hold an auction for one Apple-1 unit in mint condition.

Yep, you read that right, mint condition. Though, of course, you can’t expect it to respond to your command of, “Siri, check the weather for me.” According to John Moran, the unit has been thoroughly authenticated and inspected. Deemed as a legit original Apple-1 unit, it contains many original parts and is still in working order.

The entire unit will also include two cassette tapes, 3 wires, and a Xerox copy of the original owner’s manual apart from the original. The unit itself comes with the original motherboard, monitor, and keyboard sporting a Koa wooden case. It will also be available for viewing before and during the sale.

About John Moran Auctions

John Moran Auctioneers is a 52-year old family owned business that’s led by Jeff Moran, the second-generation owner. John Moran Auctioneers brings together buyers and sellers of decorative and fine art, jewelry and fine furnishings. The company operates from core principles of approachability, transparency, and honesty in words and deeds.  John Moran Auctioneers strive to treat every consignment as our own, and offer a customizable, boutique approach towards consignment, estate liquidation, and valuation services.