Apple fanatics with deep pockets can secure a piece of history in the form of Steve Jobs’ original prototype for the company’s very first computer.
RR Auction is bidding on Jobs’ original design for the “Apple 1” computer – the same prototype that “resulted in Apple Computer’s first major order and changed the course of the company.”
The current highest bid for the prototype was $229,755 as of Friday afternoon. Bidding runs until August 18, meaning the final price is likely to rise even higher by the time the auction closes.
The Jobs-designed device was “hand-soldered” by fellow Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in 1976. The pair used the prototype to get their first order from local computer store owner Paul Terrell, according to the auction listing.
“Few Apple artifacts can be considered as rare, early, or historic as this Apple-1 prototype, which spent many years on the property of the ‘Apple Garage’—a site now linked to the business lore of America, where two unlikely heroes build an empire,” RR Auction said in a description accompanying the item.
“Furthermore, it is the perfect embodiment of the symbiosis between Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Silicon Valley: the brilliant entrepreneur, the electronics Einstein, and the infrastructure in which they thrive,” added the description.
The final price is expected to exceed $500,000, according to the auction house.
RR Auction noted that the item was authenticated this year by Apple-1 computer expert Corey Cohen. The circuit board matched the photos taken by Terrell and later printed in Time Magazine in 2012.
The description of the vintage gadget doesn’t specifically mention whether it still works, but it seems doubtful: The prototype had minor pressure damage “which resulted in a crack running from the adjacent power supply area above D12 to the bottom. on the board to the right of the A15.” Also missing a piece that was in the first build.
The auctioneer noted that Jobs’ prototype was “considered ‘lost’ until now.”
From its humble roots with Jobs and Wozniak in the 1970s, Apple emerged as a global tech powerhouse in the following decades. The company currently has a market cap of nearly $2.5 trillion and ranks among the most valuable companies in the world.