Apple I Fetches US$14,000 In Auction

A few years ago, an original Apple I computer sold for a whopping US$50,000 after heavy bidding on eBay. In a recent auction, however, the same computer model attracted few bidders and only managed to be sold for the minimum opening price of US$14,000. It seems that people arenit in as much a hurry to part with excess sums of cash so hurriedly in the current economic climate. Ian Fried of C|Net reports:

"Thatis just not going to happen, at least not now or for the immediate future," said Salem Ismail, the producer of the Vintage Computer Festival, who set up the auction for a seller who wanted to remain anonymous. A couple of years ago there were a lot of people with disposable incomes and stock options that drove up the prices, he said. "I knew the bidding (this time) would be rather reserved."

Of course $14,000 it is still a lot more than the $666 that the Apple I circuit board sold for in 1976. However, buyers of the Apple I had to add their own accessories, including monitor, cassette drive and power supply, to actually use the computer.

[Winning bidder Roger] Wagner said the Apple I will be the prized piece in his computer collection, though he also has an early Apple II, serial number 5,000, and an original Lisa with the so-called Twiggy drives.

Ismail said he was shipping the machine Tuesday as he was packing his things to head off to this weekendis Vintage Computer Festival Europe.

Wagner, who lives in San Diego, said he expects the machine to arrive any day now. Wagner said he hopes to have it running long enough to make a video of it working but is worried about using it too long. Many of the components are no longer made and could prove difficult to replace, he said.

The winning bid followed an earlier disappointment. Wagner had bid on the one that Ismail had for auction two years ago, but said that at $25,000, the bidding "went a little high."

The full article has information on Mr. Wagner (a long time programmer for Appleis platforms), the Apple I itself, and the auction. Drop by C|Net to more details in the article titled, Apple I computer sells for $14,000