An original Apple-1 prototype said to have once been owned by late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is up for auction. The rare piece of Apple history was apparently hand-soldered by fellow co-founder Steve Wozniak, according to the listing by Boston-based auction house RR Auction.
It was said to have been used by Jobs in a demonstration to Paul Terrell, owner of The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California, in 1976. That demo resulted in Apple’s first big order, after Terrell purchased 50 Apple-1 computers to be sold at $666.66 apiece, the listing says.
Images of the prototype show a long crack down the right side of the circuit board and indications of Wozniak’s ‘three-handed’ soldering technique evidenced “in the tight ‘bubbles’ formed at the soldered connections,” according to RR Auction.
The circuit board was reportedly matched to Polaroid photographs taken by Terrell in 1976 and was reportedly examined and authenticated by Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen in 2022. Cohen’s notarized 13-page report comes with the prototype, which RR Auction expects to fetch more than $500,000.
“Few Apple artifacts could be considered as rare, early, or historic as this Apple-1 prototype, which spent many years on the ‘Apple Garage’ property — a site now entwined in the folklore of American business, where two unlikely heroes founded an empire,” RR Auction said in its listing. “Moreover, it is the perfect embodiment of the symbiosis between Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Silicon Valley: the brilliant businessman, the electronics Einstein, and the infrastructure in which they thrived.”
Neither Apple nor RR Auction immediately responded to CNET’s request for comment.