November 23, 2010, 6:06 PM — Christie's auction house in London today sold an Apple-1 computer for 133,250, or $213,600.
The lot , which went up for auction at 9:30 a.m. ET today, had an estimated value of between $160,300 and $240,450.
The Apple-1 sold today came with the original packaging, manuals, cassette interface and basic tape, early documentation and provenance, and a commercially rare letter from Steve Jobs.
Two hundred Apple-1 computers are estimated to have been created and sold for $666.66 before Apple Computer Inc. was founded in 1977. Once the Apple II, the company's first official product, was released, many of the Apple-1 models were reclaimed as trade-ins. Only about 50 are still known to exist, many of them indexed by hardware developer Mike Willegal .
Of those 200 machines, Christie's Apple-1 is No. 82. This same Apple-1 is thought to be the same on that was sold on eBay in November 2009 by a user named "apple1sale" to "julescw72". At the time, it sold for a winning bid of $50,000.
The winner of the Christie's auction was not identified.
The original Apple-1 was sold as a fully assembled circuit board with 4KB of memory but no case, power supply, keyboard or monitor. Christie's Apple-1 included the machine's original packaging, manuals, cassette interface and basic tape, documentation and a letter from Steve Jobs, but some parts may not have been original, said computer hobbyist and retrocomputing expert Eric Rucker .
"The CPU is a Rockwell plastic part, not a MOS  white ceramic part," he noted , identifying what Christie's item description called "a few slightly later additions."
Apple-1 inventor and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was on hand for the auction, according to the Wall Street Journal .
Read more about macintosh in Computerworld's Macintosh Topic Center.