An Apple-1 with Koa’s wooden casing is up for auction

Most Apple users know the story of how the company was created. How two kids just out of high school, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, designed and manufactured their first computer in the home of Jobs’s parents in 1975.

And as they saw that it worked, in that same house, a year later, the two of them began to manufacture a first series of 200 computers. Many of these units are still intact, and from time to time, some go up for auction as a sought-after collector’s item. This week one of them is up for auction with Koa’s wooden carcass.

This week a unit of the first computer made by Apple, the Apple-1. These Apple-1s are currently considered collector’s items, and can be very valuable. The estimated final price that you can reach is between the 400 and 600 thousand dollars.

A little history

In 1975, after designing and building their first computer and seeing that it worked, the two founders of Apple decided to make a first series of 200 units and sell them. The first Apple-1s were designed by Steve Wozniak and assembled and tested by Steve Jobs, Patty Jobs (his sister), and Daniel Kottke at Jobs’s parents’ home. 175 of them were sold for 666.66, dollars, a figure that served Wozniak’s mania for repeating numbers.


This is how the first Apple-1s were delivered. Just the motherboard and an instruction manual.

The first 50 units were bought by a computer store, ByteShop. They were simply motherboards that required customers to add their own cases, keyboards, monitors, and power supplies. That was sold separately by that store. Of these 50 units, only six ended up in boxes made of Koa wood …

The wooden case that houses this computer is made of koa wood. In the 1970s, Koa wood was abundant and easily accessible, especially on the West Coast because it was native to Hawaii, but due to cattle grazing and excessive logging, the Koa tree is now considered much rarer and expensive to get. There are only six Apple-1 units with the Koa wooden box.

The Apple-1 computer up for auction this week has only had two owners. It was originally purchased by an electronics professor at the Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, who later sold it to a student of his in 1977.

This Apple-1 has recently undergone an extensive authentication, restoration and evaluation process by one of the leading experts in the field, who inspected all components and generated a full evaluation report that accompanies this Apple-1.

This computer will be included in the official registry of Apple-1 computers under the name of «Chaffey College Apple-1«. We will see in the end how much the bid reaches.

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