Personal computers seem to be gradually replaced by smaller and more portable devices, but recent events show that used computers tend to be more valuable than smartphones. The best example in this case is the recent auction held in Germany on Saturday during which the vintage computer Apple I was sold for $671,000, says New York Times.
No one ever thought there would come a time when personal computers would become as expensive as antique violins. Yet, the amounts of money that some people are willing to pay for a vintage PC, indicate their increasing value. The most expensive model of vintage computer, which was first released in 1976, was sold on Saturday during an auction in Germany in exchange for $671,000.
Examples don’t stop here; Apple-1 has become one of the most expensive models of used personal computers to be found at auctions. Last November, a similar device was sold for $640,000 breaking the previous record of $375,500 which was set during a Sotheby’s auction in New York, five months earlier.
Prices have skyrocketed in the past decade as used computers were not as appreciated back then as they are nowadays. Dag Spicer, who often takes part in auctions, recalls that he had the chance to purchase a used Apple I for $2,000 more than a decade ago, but turned it down. He didn’t regret his choice even though he is aware now that the device is more expensive than his house.
There is no actual explanation why some people would spend so much money on a computer that is no longer compatible with present software and applications. Reporters at New York Times have drawn the conclusion that the increase in price that vintage computers have known in the past years is a consequence of the “story of the economics of scarcity and techno-fetishism, magnified by the mystique surrounding Apple and its founders”. Auctioneers, on the other hand, believe the Apple I model has become so valuable because it tells the story of the company’s evolution.