How many Apple 1 computers are estimated to still exist?

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Joined: Dec 24 2011
Posts: 6

How many Apple 1 computers do you believe are estimated to still exist?

Talking to various people over the years and reading various sources I have seen figures of 25-50 units still left in existence, Woz has indicated he has an unknown number of unassembled boards.
Does anyone here keep track of units as they are bought and sold?

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Joined: Oct 9 2011
Posts: 1063
Re: How many Apple 1 computers are estimated to still exist?

Interesting, where does Woz say he has a number of unassembled boards? I have never seen that in anything he's said or written in the last 20 years and know his personal Apple-1 is a late NTI unit that had never ran till recently. His "prototypes" and personal boards from back in the day I thought he said were lost. If you have a reference otherwise I'd love to see a link to it.

According Mike Willegal's registry, there are 63 units publicly known.

Apple-1 Registry

I know of a few private ones not on the registry, no more than a handful where the owners want to remain anonymous.

The bigger question is how many are in recently operated condition and how many are in a condition where they could be made operational without destroying the historical significance of the board. Additionally how many are in original condition. The Apple-1 dates back from a time where people "hacked" their computers. So the number of original unmodified are few. The recent one to sell at Bonhams for 900+k was an unmodified board. The one that sold for under $400k at Christie's was a modified board that I removed extensive modifications to make it operational again. Luckily no traces were cut and the board was recoverable. I have seen some that are not worth the risk and some that even had fire damage from modifications.

I hope that answers your question.

Cheers,
Corey

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Joined: Jun 5 2008
Posts: 382
Re: How many Apple 1 computers are estimated to still exist?

Woz is probably referring to the batch that were wave soldered, never stuffed or powered up and stored in the the Apple lab and later Steve Jobs office. Most of them ended up in the hands of early Apple employees. A number of them have recently been brought up into working condition. Unless you knew the history of the unit, it would take a bit of sleuthing to determine that they were never sold by Apple, but were taken home by early Apple employees as "trophies". Woz's personal unit belongs to that category. We only have pictures of the prototypes.

A few years back, the estimated number of units was 30 to 50 - I think that number came from Sellam Ismail who used to keep a private list of known units. Because of the high auction prices, publicity due to Steve Jobs death, and the existence of the registry, quite a few additional units have surfaced. For a while, I've been saying that maybe 70 survive. It's possible that that number might be an underestimate.

regards,
Mike W.