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Macintosh computer used by Steve Jobs goes up for auction

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A Macintosh computer used by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs from 1988 to 1994 is going under the hammer.

It is being auctioned by global auctioneer Bonhams, which estimates the Macintosh will fetch between $200,000 and $300,000.

The History of Science and Technology including Space History auction is now open for bidding and closes on October 25.

Steve Jobs used the Macintosh computer while at NeXT, the company he founded after he left Apple in 1985. Photo: Bonhams

“It presents a unique opportunity to own an intimate historical relic from one of the greatest innovators of our time,” Bonhams said.

Jobs used the computer while at NeXT, the company he founded after he left Apple in 1985 — and the company that Apple bought in 1997.

The Macintosh computer was installed in his office from 1988 through until 1994 — some of the key years in his development, according to Bonhams.

Although confidential and other data had been removed from this computer when it was taken out of service, the hard drive provides insight into Jobs and his work at NeXT and Pixar — the computer animation studio run by him at that time, the auction company said.

The model, a late 1987 Macintosh, comes with 20MB internal hard drive, a keyboard, mouse and additional back-up hard drive, said Bonhams.


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“The system was originally set up by his assistant who had worked for him from 1986 through 1990. The computer shows weekly tasks, recruiting information, travel plans and even a missed meeting with [the UK’s] King Charles III [then Charles, Prince of Wales],” he said.

Jobs continued to use the device, since it stored his personal rolodex, between 1990 and 1993.

There is also evidence that Jobs’ daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs used the device during her visits to the office as the mail system and Microsoft Word are registered under her name.

The Macintosh was last used for a marketing project that Jobs oversaw in 1994 and was given to the present owner later that year, at which point Jobs mentioned it might have value someday, Bonhams said.

The sale will also feature documents relating to Jobs, including business cards from his time at Pixar, estimated between $2,000 to $3,000, and a signed performance review, estimated to be worth between $6,000 and $8,000.

The auction by Bonhams will also feature a ventless revision 0 Apple II, estimated to fetch between $20,000 and $30,000, according to the company.

Introduced in 1977, the Apple II is Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak’s “greatest achievement and generally considered the most important computer of all time as it popularized personal computing” according to the auction house.

“The present example of the Apple II is a true unicorn among the collecting community as it is one of the rarest of all Apple computers due to its ventless case,” Bonhams said.

Jobs’ original Apple-1 computer prototype was sold by RR Auction of Boston in August for $677,196.

RR Auction sold an Apple-1 computer in September 2018 for $375,000, while Dubai-based collector Jimmy Grewal sold an Apple-1 computer signed by Mr Wozniak for $340,100 at an auction.

A factory-sealed original iPhone from 2007, the year Apple began selling the product, sold for more than $39,000 at a US auction this month.


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The unused 8GB iPhone originally cost $599 when it hit stores five months after the model was unveiled by Jobs on January 9, 2007.

Time magazine named the iPhone the “invention of the year” in 2007.

Updated: October 19, 2022, 6:55 AM