One of only eight working models in the world, the machine fetched €110 000, well below the expected €180 000 to €300 000, suggesting that a spike in prices after Jobs’ 2011 death is definitely over.
“From our point of view we are back at normal levels. Five years after the death of (Apple co-founder) Steve Jobs the ‘hype’ has settled back”, said Uwe Breker, who oversaw the auction in Cologne.
Breker’s auction house, which specialises in the sale of technical antiques, had also been involved in a 2013 sale of another Apple-I, which fetched €516 000.
The model auctioned off on Saturday and whose original owner was a Californian engineer, still had its receipt, its operating manual and other documents.
“(The Apple 1) was one of the first opportunities for someone to possess a real computer. I’d been working with computers for a while but they were huge,” said original owner John J Dryden, who bought the Apple in 1976.
He admitted that parting with the machine was a wrench but said the time had come as he had not used it in a long time.
The computer was one of around 200 Apple 1 units marketed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who developed and built it.
Saturday’s buyer was a German engineer who collects old computers.