23 Jan 2015

How Much is the First Macintosh Computer Worth?

This year marks the 30th anniversary since the first Macintosh was launched, and computers have changed drastically since then. Ever since CEO Steve Jobs’ passing, there has been an interest in collecting old Macs. The cash from selling the Mac 128k is enough to partially defray the luxury item’s original price tag of $2,500.

Vintage Macintosh Computers

Source: www.opusfidelis.com

Within 3 months of placing an ad during the Super Bowl time slot, 50,000 units were sold, although currently there are far fewer working models. The value depends largely on condition, and almost new models can go for over $2,000, although typical prices range from $500 to $1,000. If you have the Mac 512k, prices tend to hover around the $500 mark.

Interestingly, original packaging and materials is valued almost as much as a used 128k, and it was reported that the box alone was purchased for $500 in 2002. That just goes to show how much the brand matters. If you’ve purchased any other Apple products along the way, be sure to keep the packaging and stickers as they might be worth something in the future!

Sell for Parts

A damaged or malfunctioning computer will not be as saleable as one in good condition, but it’s still possible to salvage the components. The floppy drive and ram are valuable as replacements or repurposing, so do your research before tossing your old machine in trash. One such example is a Mac SE/30 that sells for $100 whole and $400 as parts.

The Original Apple Computer

The Apple 1 has a prestigious background. It was designed by hand by the esteemed Steve Wozniak and released in 1976. Selling for less than the 182k at just over $660, only 575 units were manufactured, 61 have survived, and only 6 are currently functional. It is a collector’s item that has sold on eBay and even in auction houses:

  • In 2010, one was sold online for $42,766
  • At a Christie’s auction, the listing containing a dysfunctional Apple 1 ended with a bid for $210,000 because it also contained items, such as a signed letter from Steve Jobs
  • A working unit was put up for auction by Sotheby’s for $374,500 although it didn’t contain similarly rare documents as the package sold at Christie’s
  • Another Apple 1 in working condition was sold later that same year (2012) for $671,000
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