Historic Apple-1 prototype could fetch $500,000 at new Apple auction

Apple-1 Prototype up for auction
(Image credit: RR Auction)

A stunning and rare Apple-1 prototype up for auction could fetch more than $500,000 as part of a major haul of Apple goods going under the hammer in August.

The crown jewel of this auction is a historic early prototype of the Apple-1 computer, the first ever product created by Apple when the company was still just Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak working in Jobs' family garage. 

This prototype was used to demo the Apple-1 to Paul Terrell, owner of The Byte Shop, a Mountain View, CA computer store that agreed to carry sales of the very first Apple computer.  Jobs and The Woz envisaged the Apple-1 as a $40 computer customers could build themselves, Terrell convinced them to sell it as a fully assembled computer at the ominous price of $666.66. The rest, as they say, is history. 

Lost and Found

This Apple-1 prototype is #2 on the Apple-1 registry and was thought lost until recently. RR Auction says it has been examined and authenticated as real and matched to Polaroid photos taken by Terrell in 1976 and shared by Time Magazine in 2012. 

Despite being damaged (the board should be square, but actually has a massive crack in it), the stunning historic piece is expected to fetch up to and over $500,000, with bidding already having surpassed $140,000 in just one week. The auction for this device will conclude on August 18. 

The Apple-1 lot is part of a larger haul of Apple memorabilia up for sale in RR Auction's Apple, Jobs, and Computer hardware sale. It also includes a signed Steve Jobs check expected to fetch more than $25,000, a sealed first-gen iPod, iPhone, an Apple Newton MessagePad, and reams of signed photos and memorabilia. You can see the full auction catalog here. 

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9