Apple's first-ever computer: By the numbers

A mint-condition "Apple-1," assembled in Steve Jobs' garage, fetched a huge sum at auction... despite its puny memory

Steve Jobs was just 21 when he started selling Apple-1 in 1976.
(Image credit: CC BY: Ed Uthman)

Yesterday, a "superb example" of one of the first personal computers — an Apple, not a PC — was auctioned off for a whopping $210,700 at Christie's auction house in London. Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak first sold their "Apple-1" computers from Jobs' parents garage. The "superb" Apple-1 specimen auctioned off includes all the original packaging and instruction manuals, the original dated invoice, and a signed note from Jobs. Auctioneers hope it will fetch a price well into the six figures. Here's a look, by the numbers:

200

Total number of Apple-1s produced by Jobs and Wozniak

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

50

Estimated number of surviving Apple-1s

82

The number of the Apple-1 being auctioned off later this month

$666.66

Amount the computer sold for in 1976, reflecting co-founder Steve Wozniak's preference for repeating numbers

$2560

The price equivalent today, after adjustments for inflation. ("Even 34 years ago Apple’s hardware was shockingly expensive," quips Steven Mostyn at The Tech Herald.)

$475

The amount Apple-1s sold for after a price drop in April of 1977, when the Apple II came on the market

$161,600 to $242,400

The amount that Christie's auction house expected to get for the computer

$210,700

The amount the computer actually sold for

$50,000

The highest amount an Apple-1 had previously brought in at auction, without the benefit of a signed note from Steve Jobs

$999

The starting price of the new MacBook Air laptop

8

The amount of memory, in kilobytes, the Apple-1 has. (It "could barely power a game of Pong," notes Nick Bilton in The New York Times.)

4,194,304

The amount of memory, in kilobytes, the new, top-of-the-line MacBook Air has

3,648

The average size, in kilobytes, of a single song in the form of an mp3 file

21 and 25

The ages of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, respectively, when they first began selling the Apple-1 in 1976

19

The age of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg when he launched the social networking site in February of 2004

$6.1 billions

The net worth of the now 55-year-old Steve Jobs, according to Forbes

$6.9 billion

The net worth of the now 26-year-old Zuckerberg, according to Forbes

Sources: The Tech Herald, Forbes (2), The New York Times, Apple.com, NPR, Cult of Mac, Computer World, Daily Mail, Christies.com, Answers.com, CNET

This article was originally published on November 12, and updated on November 24.

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us