The most expensive Apple computer? That’s easy — the new Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display selling for $2,500, right?. Nope. Not even close. The most expensive Apple computer is the one that started the entire personal computer revolution — the Apple-1 that was sold at auction for a record $905,000 on October 22, 2014. The lot included a fully operational Apple-1 (one of the first 50 built by Steve Wozniak), a Sanyo monitor, wooden power-supply box, a vintage keyboard, and an owner’s manual. Surprisingly, for that staggering price, AppleCare was not included. This particular model belonged to John Barkley Anderson, the founder and first president of the Cincinnati AppleSiders (an early Apple user group that still exists today) who kept it safely in a glass enclosure. The Apple-1 was purchased at the Bonhams New York auction house by a representative of the Henry Ford Museum, located in Dearborn, Michigan.
So what makes the Apple-1 so valuable? First, it is a part of technological history: the Apple-1 was the first preassembled computer ever sold. Second, it is very rare. Apple, which back then was a paltry computer start-up located in the garage of Steve Jobs’s family home, only built 200 Apple-1s in 1976. Third, few actually work. Of the original 200 made, only about 15 Apple-1s are still in working order. Five of those have been sold at auction in the past four years, but were not as valuable because they had been modified or damaged. Corey Cohen, an Apple-1 aficionado and expert, reviewed the Anderson Apple-1 and was impressed with its condition: “This is one of the best examples of a working early Apple-1 that I have seen. The condition is unlike the other Apple-1 computers that have come up for sale.” The lesson here is that sometimes it pays not to upgrade your computer.
For further reading: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/vintage-apple-1-computer-handmade-by-steve-wozniak-beats-auction-expectations/