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Apple 1 Computer heads to auction

30 Apr 2013

From Pascal to Apple, over 350 years of computer history is set to go under the hammer this month.

Last November, German auctioneers Breker made international news for selling an original 1976 Apple I computer for the world record price of US$640,000.

But on 25 May, collectors and Apple-lovers will have the chance to buy another of the six surviving Apple I computers still in working order - for anywhere between US$260,000 – 400,000.

The online listing reads as follows: "This is the sensational 1st product of today's highest-valued company ever.

"This Apple 1 set on offer here is 100% authentic and in full working condition.

"Already a legendary milestone from the dynamic dawn of the personal computer age."

In what is set to be an auction of 'firsts', Breker will also be selling devices such as the world's first Intel 4004 microprocessor in a 1971 Busicom-141PF for an estimated US$10,000 - 15,000.

The first major Personal Computer, the Altair 8800, which kick-started the PC revolution from the cover of Popular Electronics magazine in 1975 will also be up for grabs, at anywhere between US$4,000 - 7,000.

But 300 years before the birth of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, French physicist and philosopher, Blaise Pascal, was designing the first commercial mechanical calculator.

The 'Pascaline' of 1652 could add and subtract two numbers together while multiplication and division relied on the 9's complements principal still used in computers today.

Because of its importance to mathematics, 9 machines still in existence all live in museum archives, but the tenth is being offered at auction at a price of US$130,000 - 260,000.

Also included in the auction are historic telephones, antique typewriters, telegraphy and all manner of technology.

"This sale is unique in presenting masterpieces from the spectrum of antique technology, from the 17th century to the 21st," says Breker founder Uwe Breker.

With Apple expected to launch a new product line within the coming months, consumers will be hoping such price tags of nearly half a million dollars are consigned to the past.

But fast-forwarding 50 years, how much would an iPhone 5 or iPad Mini cost in auction? Have a think and tell us your thoughts below