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An original Apple I in a briefcase just sold for nearly $500K

Most people wouldn’t think too much of a computer crammed into a briefcase — but if it’s one of the few remaining examples of the first computer ever built by Apple? That’s a whole different story.

An original Apple I from 1976 — as hand-built by Steve Wozniak — just sold for £371,260 (or roughly $471,000) in a Christie’s Auction. It comes set inside a leather briefcase, complete with a built-in keyboard.

So, why the briefcase? Because the Apple I didn’t come with a case of its own; $666 got you a board ready to hook right up to a TV and keyboard, but figuring out an enclosure was up to the buyer. At some point along the road, someone thought to mount this board in a briefcase. Hey, it’s portable!

It’s estimated that around 200 Apple I computers were made, the majority of which are believed to have been destroyed. The enthusiast-run Apple-1 Registry knows of 68-or-so still in existence, of which the one being auctioned is listed as number 10.

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