A rare Apple-1 from a Dubai collector worth $485,000 and signed by Wozniak for auction

A rare Apple Computer 1 owned by a Dubai collector and signed by a creator will be auctioned next month, with its owner hoping to create awareness of how the device started a technological revolution.

Jimmy Grewal, owner of the historic computer, which is still working, said it is worth 1.8 million dirhams ($485,000) and will be auctioned off on eBay in early June.

Its AAPL collection documents the first 30 years of Apple’s existence since 1976 and is widely considered to be the rarest range of Apple products in the Middle East. Mr. Grewal owns two Apple-1 units.

Adding to the value of the Apple-1 being made under the hammer is a personal signature from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak – who acknowledged his own creativity and signed it during a visit to Dubai last November.

“I plan to use the proceeds to create more opportunities for the public to interact with my collection, whether it is at pop-up exhibitions or in a permanent public space,” said Mr. Grewal. the National.

The Apple-1 was the company’s first product in 1976. Handcrafted by Apple founders Steve Jobs and Mr. Wozniak, only 200 of these devices were manufactured and sold for $666.66.

It is known that only a few dozen people exist today and the website, Apple 1 Registry, tracks these with special names to distinguish them.

Apple Jimmy Grewal Collection in Dubai


The Apple-1 that Mr. Grewal is offering for sale is numbered 89 in the registry, as “Schlumberger 2”, a reference to the US oilfield services company that is the oldest known owner of the computer. His other Apple-1 phone number 67 and its name is “Schlumberger 1”.

The last Apple-1 auction was last November, when John Moran Auctioneers sold the Apple-1 for $500,000.

But that’s nowhere near the record for 2014, when auctioneers sold a Bonhams Apple-1 for $905,000 in New York.

Another Apple-1 is currently under the hammer at New Jersey-based Goldin, which, as of Monday, has attracted a $270,000 bid. There’s also one on eBay, with an asking price of $1.5 million.

Computers are not just memorabilia from Mr. Jobs that command a hefty price. In November 2021, a handwritten letter from the Apple co-founder addressed to his childhood friend Tim Brown detailing his plans to attend the Hindu Kumbh Mela fest sold for $500312 at an auction held by Bonhams in London.

Other Apple pieces included in this auction were vintage promotional posters, album art, a VideoPad 2 tablet, and Macintosh and iPad prototypes.

Mr. Grewal recovered the Apple-1 with the help of his team at Dubai-based marine electronics company Elcome International, of which he is CEO.

His extensive collection includes the full range of Apple II and Macintosh families, old portable devices, printers and displays, original iPod, iPhone and iPad, along with books and manuals.

Mr. Grewal has taken his collection to a number of exhibitions, most recently at GITEX Technology Week in Dubai last October.

“What I find very interesting and inspired is that Apple has had its ups and downs, some of which have almost gone bankrupt on more than one occasion,” said Grewal, a Duke University graduate in North Carolina who once worked in the Mac department at Microsoft.

Yet they kept moving forward, innovating, developing and building, and now they are [among] The most valuable company in the world. “

Mr Grewal did not give any specific expectations for the outcome of the auction, but he was “optimistic”, given the condition of his Apple-1 device.

However, he wants the device to stay close to home.

“I personally hope that someone or an institution from the region will buy it so they can stay here, so that people in the UAE and the Gulf have access to these amazing monuments since the dawn of computer history,” Grewal said. .

“If not, I have another one that will stay in my collection and I hope to have the opportunity for more people to see it in the future.”

Updated: May 17, 2022, 5:50 am

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