Rare Apple-1 Computer in Koa Wood Case Fetches $500,000 at Auction

According to John Moran Auctioneers, a rare Apple-1 computer that is fully functional was sold at an auction for $500,000 this week (via BBC News).

Only two people have owned the rare Hawaiian koa wood-cased Apple-1, a professor at college and his student. He sold it for $650. Two cassette tapes with Apple software and user manuals were included in the sale.

Steve Wozniak, Apple founder, is believed to have built 200 Apple-1 computers and sold 175. This makes it a rare collector's piece.

Originaly, the computer was sold as a bare circuit board that could be assembled by hobbyists. Steve Jobs sold 50 computer units to California's The Byte Shop. The koa wooden case was also added by The Byte Shop. However, only six of the completed cases were made.

"This is kinda the holy grail of vintage electronics and computer technology collectors," Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen said to the Los Angeles Times before Tuesday's auction. It's exciting for many people.

Last year, a fully functional Apple-1 computer was sold for $458711.

Update: This article has been updated to reflect that the auctioneers recorded auction price at $500,000 rather than the reported $400,000. The total auction price of $500,000 includes the buyer's bonus.