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Rare Apple-I fetches less than expected at German auction

The computer was one of just 200 Apple-1 computers marketed by its founders - Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. The winner of Saturday's auction was a German engineer who collects old computers.

One of the earliest Apple-1 computers, still in working condition after 40 years, sold for $125,000 (110,000 euros) at an auction in Cologne Saturday.

Despite the extraordinary price, it sold for much less than the expected 180,000-300,000 euros - suggesting that the spike in prices following the death of Apple's co-founder in 2011 is over.

"From our point of view we are back at normal levels. Five years after the death of [Apple co-founder] Steve Jobs the 'hype' has settled back," said Uwe Breker, who oversaw the auction in Cologne.

Breker's auction house specializes in selling technical antiques. It was also involved in a 2013 sale of another Apple-I, which fetched 516,000 euros.

A German engineer

The model auctioned off Saturday, whose original owner was a Californian engineer, still had its receipt, its operating manual and other documents.

"[The Apple 1] was one of the first opportunities for someone to possess a real computer. I'd been working with computers for a while but they were huge," original owner John J. Dryden, who bought the Apple in 1976, said Friday.

Dryden admitted that parting with the machine was wrenching, but said the time had come as he had not used it in a long time.

The computer was one of around 200 Apple-1 units marketed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who developed and built it.

bik/jlw (dpa, AFP)

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