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Original Apple-1 computer goes for record $671,000 at auction

May 25, 2013 at 6:36 PM   |   Comments

COLOGNE, Germany, May 25 (UPI) -- An Apple-1 computer, which sold for $666 when it debuted in 1976, sold for a record $671,400 Saturday at auction in German, the auctioneer said.

The sale, including fees and taxes, beat the previous high mark of $640,000 paid for an Apple-1 last November at the same auction house, Auction Team Breker, The New York Times reported.

Breker said the buyer, whose name was being kept secret, was a wealthy entrepreneur from the Far East.

"This really confirms the value of Apple-1's," auctioneer Uwe Breker told the Times.

"It is a superb symbol of the American dream. You have two college dropouts from California who pursued an idea and a dream, and that dream becomes one of the most admired, successful and valuable companies in the world."

There were an estimated 175-200 of the computers built in a garage by Steven Jobs and Stephen Wozniak in the first run and 46 survive, said Mike Willegal, who keeps track of them on an online registry.

The one sold at auction Saturday was originally owned by Fred Hatfield, 84, a retired electrical engineer living in New Orleans, the Times said.

Hatfield said he sold the computer, which wasn't working at the time, to a man from Texas this year for $40,000. The newspaper said it was a working model when auctioned.

Hatfield expressed surprise at the sale price but congratulated the man who bought it from him.

"Best to him. He's the one who fixed it up and figured the best way to sell it for all that money. Evidently, he's very good at this," Hatfield said.

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