New York: Apple 1, the first ready-made personal computer, was sold at a whopping USD 374,500 at Sotheby's auction house on Friday.
The price was more than 500 times its original retail rate.
An anonymous telephone bidder prevailed for a final cost of just under USD 375,000 including commission.
The computer, consisting only of a bare motherboard, with microchips and circuitry exposed, is thought to be one of only around half a dozen working examples of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak's first hardware.
Some 200 Apple 1s were built in 1976 and sold at retail for $666.66 without a case, keyboard, monitor or power supply. The computer had 4 kilobytes of memory as standard and a processor running at 1 MHz.
By comparison, the latest iPhone has 512 megabytes of memory, and a dual-core processor running at 800 MHz.
Other highlights of the sale, which took in a total of USD 2.67 million, included an unpublished F. Scott Fitzgerald story, "The I.O.U.", which sold to an unidentified U.S. institution for USD 194,500, far above the USD 75,000 pre-sale estimate, and an autographed letter from Oscar Wilde calling his work, "The Ballad of Reading Gaol", his swan song. It fetched USD 134,500, or more than three times the estimate.
Another unpublished Fitzgerald story, "Nightmare", from the early 1930s, doubled its pre-sales estimate and sold for just over USD 80,000, while artist Andy Warhol's illustrated book from 1954, "25 Cats Named Sam and One Blue Pussy", also doubled its estimate, selling for just under USD60,000.
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Saturday, June 16, 2012, 09:21