Few Buyers at Historic Apple Computer Auction

While Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest products can sell for relatively high prices in retail stores, the company’s earliest technological devices can command astronomical prices at auction. For example, an Apple 1 computer put on sale in Germany this summer by Auction Team Breker ended up selling for the unprecedented amount of $671,400.

So, expectations were understandably high for another auction of various vintage Apple computers that Auction Team Breker hosted in Germany on November 16, reports Cult of Mac. The auction featured a 1976 Apple 1 computer in working condition, a rare Lisa 1 computer with original dual Twiggy drives, and an unreleased prototype Apple Macintosh with a Twiggy drive.

As noted on the auction description page, the Apple 1 computer in the auction is one of the first fifty computers that Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne sold from their base of operations in the Jobs’s family garage. As seen in the video below, the complete collection includes the original box, operating manual, and several “Woz” signatures.

Only 200 Apple 1 units were ever produced, and only around fifty are estimated to still be in existence today. Based on previous auction sale prices, the starting bid was set at a whopping $242,820.

The Lisa 1 computer featured in the auction is similarly rare because it includes the original Twiggy floppy disk drives. As noted on the auction description page, most of the unreliable Twiggy drives were destroyed by Apple as part of a free drive replacement program. The Lisa 1 had a starting bid price of $16,188.

Surprisingly, neither the Apple 1 computer nor the Lisa 1 computer attracted any bids. However, the prototype Apple Macintosh sold for the opening price of $33,725. “Twiggy Mac” seller Adam Goolevitch noted the unusual lack of interest in the rare Apple artifacts. “There just wasn’t a market for the computers,” Goolevitch told Cult of Mac. “Nobody was really bidding on them.”

Still, vintage Apple computer owners can take comfort in the fact that this is probably just a temporary downturn in the collectible computer market. After all, the Apple 1 computer isn’t getting any less rare.

Follow Nathanael on Twitter (@ArnoldEtan_WSCS)

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