A first edition Apple-1 originally sold in 1976 for just $666 has sold at auction for $666,000.

The sale, which is a record for the German auction house, beats previous records for the sale of the computer.

Part of the allure of the earliest Apple machines,  Uwe H Breker, the auctioneer, told the New York Times, is not what they are, but what they represent.

"It is a superb symbol of the American dream," he said. "You have two college dropouts from California who pursued an idea and a dream, and that dream becomes one of the most admired, successful and valuable companies in the world."

The $666,000 price tag beats previous records by $26,000 and the high value is because it is know to be one of only six functioning models in the world.

According to the New York Times, the Apple-1 was sold was previously bought for $40,000. It was broken and then fixed before being sold this week for the sky-high price. The seller even went to the trouble of getting Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to sign the circuit board, presumably to add value.

The first-edition Apple, so to speak, was bought in a telephone budby an entrepreneur from the Far East, who wished to remain anonymous.

The Apple-1 was Apple's first computer model. Released in 1976 it originally cost $666. The computer consisted of only the circuit board. A case, a keyboard and a screen had to be bought separately.

The sale also included an old business transaction letter from Steve Jobs.

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