Rare and still-functioning Apple-1 hits auction block

Personal computers generally don’t get more valuable as they age. But a machine that retailed for $666.66 back in 1976 now has an estimated worth of $600,000, and Apple’s (AAPL) cult-like followers with at least $75,000 to spare can get in on the bidding.

An original Apple-1 computer, one of just 200 made, is being auctioned by Charitybuzz, and at least 10 percent of the funds raised will go to the Foundation for Amateur International Radio Service, or FAIRS, which supports amateur radio emergency services around the world. 

The computer was built in Steve Jobs’ parents’ home in Los Altos, California, more than four decades ago. The Duston 2, named for a previous owner, is listed on the Apple-1 Registry, which tracks the devices. 

“It’s one of the last computers that were laid out by hand,” Corey Cohen, a computer historian and curator, said in a news release. “They weren’t done on a computer. It’s really a piece of art.”

The auction, which began Wednesday, so far includes one offer of $70,000, with the next minimum bid required to be $75,000. The online auction ends at 3:25 p.m. ET, on June 21. 

Prior sales had an Apple-1 fetching $387,750 in 2013, while an even rarer prototype netted $815,000 three years later.

That said, it’s not only vintage Apple computers that are drawing dollars at online auctions.  

Jobs’ leather jacket, for instance, sold for $22,400 back in 2016, while a job application filled out by the tech mogul in 1973 in March sold for more than $174,000.

Of course, devotees of Apple who bought a piece of the company when it went public have done pretty well also. According to a calculation Investopedia did last month, a $990 investment made when Apple went public on Dec. 12, 1980, would have been worth $442,225 “after stock splits and dividends” at the closing price on May 5. 

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