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Apple Inc. (AAPL): How Much for an Apple Original Work of Art?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has certainly come a long way from the days of the Apple-1 computer, built in the Jobs family garage by a couple of college dropouts and friends, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Only 200 of the very first desktop personal computers were created in the mid-1970s, and there are supposedly only about 50 sill in existence, with even fewer of them still in working condition (we hear three on the open market and six total). With that in mind, and seeing how far the company has come from two men in a garage, if you had the chance to own one of these pieces of technological history, what would you be willing to pay for it?

Steve JobsWhat if we threw in a letter signed by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) co-founder Jobs to the original owner? Think about that for a second, and then when you read how much one of these things went for in an an auction, think again about your number – is it 20 percent higher than the winning bid? Then you might have to look for another Apple-1 and take your chances.

While several original Apple-1 computers have been auctioned off in recent years, this particular model was auctioned in Germany over the weekend for the highest known price  offered for one of these devices. The winning bidder wanted to remain anonymous (for certain obvious reasons), but the winning bid was $671,000, which topped the previous high of $640,000 at a similar auction in German last fall.  We are told that the winning bid for this piece of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) history was in the “Far East” – or as we call it, Asia.

“It’s not only the technology of the world’s first ready-to-use PC,” said Uwe Breker, whose Breker Auction Team ran the tech auction over the weekend in Cologne. “It’s more the symbol of the American Dream — the story of two dropouts who had a superb idea … and 35 years later their company is the richest and highest-valued company ever.” Breker said his team estimated the computer would fetch $400,000.

What could explain the huge difference between the expected bid price and the actual bid price?

It is interesting how much a person’s passing can affect the value placed on products that the person made. A very similar Apple-1 computer auctioned at Christie’s in late 2010 went for $212,000.  Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs died in 2011, and the price for an auctioned Apple-1 has now tripled just since Jobs’ passing. Could one of these go for $1 million someday?

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