Steve Jobs' Apple-1 Computer prototype sells at auction for $677,196

Apple famously began life in Steve Jobs' parents' home in Los Altos, California, firstly in his bedroom, before relocating to the garage.

For obvious reasons, items from the early days of what was to become to a tech behemoth are hugely interesting to collectors and a rare Apple-1 prototype, has just sold for eye-watering figure at auction.

Steve Jobs used this particular prototype to demonstrate the Apple-1 to Paul Terrell, owner of The Byte Shop personal computer store in Mountain View, California, back in 1976. The outcome of that demonstration was Apple’s first big order, but it was more important than that. It also led to a big change in plans for Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak as Terrell requested that instead of selling it as part of a $40 do-it-yourself kit for hobbyists, it be turned into a fully assembled personal computer that could retail for $666.66.

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This prototype resided on the Apple Garage property for years before being passed on to a new owner by Steve Jobs approximately 30 years ago. Before putting it up for sale, the prototype was matched to Polaroid photographs taken by Paul Terrell in 1976, showing the machine in use. 

"In conversations with Paul Terrell, after reviewing the images, we both agreed that he photographed this Apple-1 prototype while it was fully operational in the Byte Shop in 1976," said Bobby Livingston Executive VP at RR Auction.

"I have no doubts it is the prototype presented to Paul Terrell. I have very detailed copies of the Polaroids; every little detail is the same. The 20+ resistors are all in the same position, angle and direction," said Achim Baqué of the Apple-1 Registry in an email to the auction house.

The prototype was sold for bid of $677,196, with the lucky bidder described as a "Bay Area collector who wishes to remain anonymous".

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