10/24/2012 11:57 am ET Updated Oct 24, 2012

Extremely Rare, Working Apple I Computer To Be Auctioned Off In Germany (VIDEO)

As Apple unveiled its newest toys this week -- the iPad Mini as well as various updated items -- a German auction house has announced its plans to sell one of the last working examples of the company's original computer, the Apple I.

Debuting in 1976, the rudimentary model was essentially a circuit board hand-built by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. The Apple I shipped without a case -- buyers had to find that on their own -- and cost $666.66. Wozniak and Steve Jobs made 200 of the devices, which were assembled in Jobs' family garage. Fewer than 50 are around today, according to CNN.

Allowing users to work on "human-typable keyboard instead of a stupid, cryptic front panel with a bunch of lights and switches" was a turning point in the technology, Wozniak explained in his book "iWoz."

Of the estimated 50 surviving machines, only six are in working order, a factor that makes this auction so lucrative, according to Cologne-based auctioneer Uwe Breker.

In a press release, Breker said the device is the first fully working Apple I to be offered publicly in Europe. It's also the only device with the original transformer, Sony monitor and Datanetics ASCII keyboard to be sold. The auction team even includes a video demonstration of the device in action on its website.

Several Apple I's have been sold throughout the past few months -- some operable, some not -- and many have fetched huge sums of money. In June, one of the devices sold for nearly $375,000 at Sotheby's in New York, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Prospective buyers will have to wait a month to get their hands on this rare piece of history, which is scheduled for auction Nov. 24.



Apple's Coolest Patents