MOSCOW, November 4 (RIA Novosti) — A functioning Apple I personal computer, purportedly originally purchased from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, is expected to sell for about $600,000 to $900,000 US when it goes on sale at Christie’s next month, Reuters reported.
The machine, which has been named “Ricketts” after its original owner Charles Ricketts, was sold by Jobs in July 1976 out of his parents’ garage in Los Altos, California. Jobs, then only 21 years old, and his friend, 26-year-old Steve Wosniak, had gone into business together that year, naming their joint venture the “Apple Computer Company”. Wozniak invented and built the Apple I machine singlehandedly, and Jobs suggested that they try to sell it. Jobs and Wozniak hand-assembled about 200 Apple I PCs, selling them between 1976 and 1977 at an original price of $666.66. The original computer lacked a power supply, display, or keyboard and ran on Microsoft BASIC.
The 38-year-old machine will also come with two canceled checks made out by Ricketts to Apple Computer, documenting that Ricketts had purchased it and its software personally out of Jobs’ parents’ garage in Los Altos. This makes it even rarer, as 50 of the 200 original Apple I computers were sold by the Byte Shop in Mountain View, California.
The computer is being sold by Robert Luther, a Virginia-based collector who bought it at a police auction out of a storage locker in 2004 for $7,600.
Earlier this month, a working Apple I was sold for $905,000 at auction to the Henry Ford Museum. Recently, Apple I PCs have also been sold to private collectors in Germany for prices ranging from $640,000 to $671,400. It is thought that there are about 30-50 existing Apple I PCs in the world today.