The Apple Lisa 1 was a precursor to the Macintosh.
An auction featuring vintage Apple items that were nearly thrown away ended this week with many items fetching more than their estimates. A Lisa 1 and an original iPhone still in plastic sold at exorbitant prices. Some of Steve Jobs’ handwritten tech notes also fetched more than expected. There were many others.
However, some of the Apple items did not sell, including a fully functional Apple-1, likely because the offers did not reach their reserve price.
Apple history rescued from trash, auctioned
Many items that just sold for thousands of dollars have almost been thrown away.
“More than 15 years ago, the owner of a computer company was dropping off used computers at a Portland, Oregon junkyard when he spotted some of the first Apple computers loaded into a shipping container destined for China and destruction,” says RR Auction, the company holding the sale.
The computers once belonged to former Apple COO Del Yocam. RR Auction recently put them under the hammer, with the auction ending March 16.
Apple Lisa 1
Among the few Apple computers that have just changed hands is a Lisa 1 from the first production version (pictured above). It was the company’s first foray into graphical user interfaces. This particular unit was presented to Del Yocam, and has an engraved presentation plate on the front.
The computer was supposed to sell for $65,000, but it actually fetched $81,251.
Original iPhone still in packaging
Also in the auction, a first-generation iPhone was still sealed in the original shipping plastic. The seller says “he bought this phone when it was released in 2007, but received one as part of his job as an Apple employee; this spare has never been opened,” according to the auction company.
The bid estimate for the handset was $20,000 and up – it sold for $54,904. Another factory-sealed 2007 iPhone sold in February for over $63,000.
Steve Jobs handwritten notes
The RR auction includes notes written by Apple’s co-founder. These are “Steve Jobs’ earliest handwritten technical instructions and schematic annotations dating to around 1971,” according to the auction company.
They were expected to go for $10,000+, and they actually sold for $12,501. Maybe the price is low, it’s the fact that they are not signed.
Macintosh 128K prototype with carrying case
The auction that just ended also included a prototype Macintosh 128K – a pre-production unit of the very first Mac. It comes in a “rare bespoke carrying case given to a limited number of Apple employees,” according to RR Auction.
The estimated selling price of this item was $12,000, but it cost $16,500.
Some Unsold Auction Items
Some of the auction’s most interesting vintage Apple products failed to sell.
This includes the aforementioned Apple-1 signed by Steve Wozniak. Examples of the company’s very first computer are sometimes auctioned off, and auctions usually enrich the stratosphere. The bid estimate for this one was $500,000 or more. But it’s possible that none of the bids reached the seller’s reserve price, so the computer didn’t go to auction.
The same probably goes for an Applesoft ROM chip signed by Steve Jobs. Experts expected the item to fetch $50,000 or more at the auction that just ended, but it didn’t sell either.