Apple history: The 1MHz Apple I machines that now cost more than a family home

Where it all started

Long before there was the iPad or the iPhone there was the Apple I computer.

Despite selling for $666 at launch, today surviving Apple 1 machines typically fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars, due to their extreme rarity.

Every year or so, one of the about 50 remaining Apple I machines crops up at auction, often with the distinction of having been hand built by Apple co-founders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in Job's parents' garage in Los Altos in 1976.

The flair for design that Apple products would come to be known for is notably absent in Apple's first computer, with Apple I machines typically selling as bare boards.

With yet another Apple I computer having racked up a six-figure sum at auction yesterday, despite having a 1MHz processor and just 8KB of RAM, here are the surviving Apple I machines that have found their way onto the market over the years.

Swipe left on the image, click the right arrow on the picture, or hit the right arrow key to navigate this gallery.

SEE: Apple's first employee: The remarkable odyssey of Bill Fernandez

Image: James Martin / CNet

By Nick Heath

Nick Heath is a computer science student and was formerly a journalist at TechRepublic and ZDNet.