Used Computer Sells for $671,400

Photo (cc) by Marshall Astor - Food Fetishist

One of the original Apple computers sold at an auction in Germany this weekend for a record price of $671,400.

The 37-year-old Apple I — which didn’t ship with a monitor, keyboard, mouse, power supply or even a case to hold the parts — is worth 1,525 shares of the company that made it. The price of Apple stock is about $440.

The previous record for an Apple I was set less than a year ago at $640,000, The New York Times says. Just a few months before that, the highest price was $374,500, the Times added.

The one that just sold had belonged to the original owner until earlier this year, when he sold it for far less. Fred Hatfield, 84, told the Times he sold the broken Apple I for $40,000 to a Texas man who works in the software business. That buyer then flew to California to get Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (who invented and hand-built all the original Apple computers) to autograph it, and he had it repaired before selling it at auction.

The person who now owns the device is “a wealthy entrepreneur from the Far East, who wishes to remain anonymous,” the auctioneer told the Times.

Apple I computers were sold in 1976 for $666 — or $2,722 in today’s dollars. They couldn’t do much, and Hatfield actually complained on the phone to Steve Jobs about just that. He still has a signed letter of response from Jobs, the Times says, which was not part of the auction.

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