These Old Apple Macintosh Computers Are Worth Millions

Ces vieux ordinateurs Apple Macintosh valent des millions

Your collection of old computer equipment can finally pay off! If you own one of the early Apple Macintosh computers, it's time to trade it in for some nice cash. These devices are a rare gem on the collector's market, and many of them sell for six-figure prices. If you also have other accessories in good condition, such as instruction manuals and peripherals, there's a good chance you'll receive your biggest amount of money ever from selling old items.

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If you're wondering how this is possible, allow us to take you back to the early days of Apple and Steve Jobs' involvement with the Macintosh. The very first Apple Macintosh computer – called the Apple-1 – was only produced in 200 copies. These computers were made in Steve Jobs' garage, and so there was no guaranteed demand for large-scale production.

Although the task was daunting at the time, the 200 computers had the privilege of being assembled by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. With Apple's current legendary status, the Apple-1 is far more valuable than any Apple device currently in production. For one particular example of the device, there was a special detail that catapulted its price close to the coveted 7-figure mark, at $905,000. This device was one of the first 50 machines ever built. It might seem a little ridiculous to think that someone would pay that much for a computer, but there are a few key details to keep in mind:

  • It is one of the first 50 devices manufactured by a company whose turnover today amounts to several billion dollars.
  • The model sold was in “superb general condition”. It had not undergone any modification and the motherboard was perfectly intact.
  • More importantly, this Apple-1 still worked perfectly.
  • You may be wondering what kinds of prices you can expect for other vintage Apple products for sale. We will come back to this.

Apple-1

This computer will probably never sell for $900,000 again. However, there is still hope for those who own an Apple-1 that is gathering dust in a cellar. Recent estimates of buyer interest place this device between $175,000 and $475,000. A huge gain in normal times, but one that can certainly change a life.

In fact, a 2013 sale from famed auction house Christie’s valued it at $387,750. In 2020, a computer with a built-in keyboard and instruction manual was sold for more than $470,000. Not bad for a computer from 1976.

Due to the high demand for these computers, there are many replicas circulating, making buyers wary. As a potential seller, you should also be careful about the device you own. It is best to take it to an expert to evaluate it. However, if you have a fake in your hands, you can always sell it for $1,000. A respectable sum. Enough to give you an iPhone or a Mac monitor stand, if that tempts you.

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Apple II

Released the following year after the success of the first Macintosh, the Apple II was more than a commercial success for the company and marked the start of great things at Apple. While its success was astonishing to celebrate at the time, there isn't much going back for today's owners who kept their devices. Unlike the Apple-1, the Apple II typically only sells for a few thousand dollars. Some units have been sold for $4,000 and you're unlikely to find any that exceed 5 figures.

In 2015, an Apple II computer was sold in “good condition” for $4,687. This computer still had a fully intact motherboard and its original built-in disk drives. All of this has been verified by the Nate D. Sanders Auction House.

There is a type of Apple II that usually sells for over $10,000. This device tended to be built without ventilation during its original production run. The first batches shipped therefore tended to overheat. This defect was quickly corrected and all other devices were fitted with vents. Apple II devices without vents can represent a substantial gain.

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How much can you sell vintage Apple products?

If you want to get your hands on the vintage Apple hardware market, there are a few things you need to know first. Apple has officially established a definition of “vintage” which assumes “products that were not manufactured more than five years ago and less than seven years ago.” Products that fit this description include the iPhone 6 models, including the 6S and all previous iPhones. Even the Apple Watch Series 1 and 2 are now considered period products. However, none of these “vintage” products will sell for a lot.

If you want to sell a vintage Apple product at a high price, you'll have to go back further, to the 1990s, with gadgets like the Mac Color Classic II. A device whose marketing has been limited to certain regions outside the United States. It is possible to find copies of this Mac selling for $2,000.

Another factor to consider when selling old appliances is their uniqueness. A signed Apple Macintosh device from the 80s is much more likely to be sold at a good price than a regular device. However, many fake signed devices are circulating. It's also common knowledge that Steve Jobs was never a big fan of signing products, so most “signed” Steve Jobs devices are likely fakes.

In the long term, the value of older Apple products will only increase. However, it is not really useful to keep them, unless you have a particularity linked to your device. For earlier versions and regional single releases, there is a huge market. Be sure to keep those old Apple devices, from the original iPhone to today.

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Do you have a valuable vintage Apple Macintosh computer hidden in your basement?