Early Apple computer sells for $1 million at auction

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Early Apple computer sells for $1 million at auction
Credit: Bonhams

One of 50 made.

One of the few remaining examples of Apple's first pre-assembled computer, Apple-1, sold for US$905,000 (A$1 million) at an auction in New York today, far outstripping expectations.

The relic, which sparked a revolution in home computing, is thought to be one of the first batch of 50 Apple-1 machines assembled by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in Steve Jobs' family garage in Los Altos, California in the summer of 1976.

Auction house Bonhams had said it expected to sell the machine, which was working as of September, for between US$300,000 and US$500,000.

The buyer was The Henry Ford organisation, which plans to display the computer in its museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

"The Apple-1 was not only innovative, but it is a key artifact in the foundation of the digital revolution," Henry Ford president Patricia Mooradian said in a statement.

There were few buyers for the first Apples until Paul Terrell, owner of electronics retailer Byte Shop, placed an order for 50 and sold them for US$666.66 each.

After that initial success, Jobs and Wozniak produced another 150 and sold them to friends and other vendors.

Previously, a working Apple-I was sold by Sotheby's auction house in 2012 for US$374,500.

Fewer than 50 original Apple-1s are believed to survive.

Wozniak this week announced he would take up a position as an adjunct professor at the University of Technology Sydney from December.

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