An Apple 1 prototype “Apple Computer A” owned by Steve Jobs will be auctioned starting today and is expected to fetch over $500,000.


Hand-soldered by Steve Wozniak in 1976, the Apple Computer A circuit board was used by Steve Jobs to demonstrate the Apple-1 to Paul Terrell, owner of The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California. The Byte Shop became the first retailer of the Apple 1 computer after Terrell ordered 50 fully assembled machines and sold them for $666.66 each.

The Apple Computer A was matched to photographs taken by Terrell in 1976 showing the prototype used. This machine is listed as machine number two in the Apple 1 registry and was considered “lost” until authenticated by Apple 1 expert Corey Cohen.

Apple computer and


As described by RR Auctions, the website where the sale is taking place, the board is damaged.

This prototype stood on the “Apple Garage” lot for many years before it was handed over to its current owner by Steve Jobs about 30 years ago. By that time, Jobs had been ousted by Apple and was looking forward to commitments from NeXT and Pixar. The current state of the board gives a glimpse of Jobs’ judgment on it: He saw the prototype not as something to be anchored, but as something to be repurposed. Several of the ICs were pulled from their sockets, as were the microprocessor and other components, presumably for use in early Apple 1 computers.

The board appears to have been pressure damaged at the top right, resulting in a crack running from next to the power supply area down through D12 through the underside of the board to the right of A15. The missing piece was probably thrown away, but can be reinvented thanks to Paul Terrell’s photographs of the complete board. One of the distinguishing features of the prototype “Apple Computer A” was the use of three orange Sprague Atom capacitors instead of the familiar “Big Blue” capacitors used on the production Apple Computer 1.

Compared to Apple 1 production machines, the prototype is labeled “Apple Computer A”, has a different processor, and lacks the protective green coating of typical Apple 1 computers.

Due to the rarity of the prototype, RR Auction expects a high auction price despite the damage.

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