Apple's founding papers sell at auction for $1.35 million

Tech history was made on April 1, 1976 when Steve Wozniak and the late Steve Jobs signed a three page document that officially launched Apple. Today CNN reports that those papers sold at auction for a whopping $1.35 million at the Sotheby's auction house in New York.

There were actually two sets of papers that were put up for auction today. The first was the three page document signed by Jobs, Wozniak and a man named Ron Wayne. While Jobs and Wozniak owned 45 percent each of the company, Way got 10 percent when he also signed the papers. However, just 11 days later, Wayne decided to pull out of the new company. His two page document, where he sold off his share of Apple to Jobs and Woznick for just $800, was also included in the auction.

As the article points out, Wayne could have held onto his measly 10 percent share of Apple which today would be worth in the billions of dollars. Ouch.

As far as the auction itself, the starting bid for the Apple founding papers was just $70,000 but quickly went beyond the $1 million bid mark in a matter of minutes. The final bid was made by telephone by an unidentified, but obviously very rich, bidder. You can see the final part of the auction in the video above.

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24 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

It's actually sickening that people would buy it for that amount of money. It goes to show how screwed up this world is. I dont care if your a bilioniare.. its the fact your buying a piece of history or better yet a piece of paper. I dont know. Maybe its just me or a typical late 20's guy.. who struggles to buy toilet paper. Its sickening.

johnnyftw said,
It's actually sickening that people would buy it for that amount of money. It goes to show how screwed up this world is. I dont care if your a bilioniare.. its the fact your buying a piece of history or better yet a piece of paper. I dont know. Maybe its just me or a typical late 20's guy.. who struggles to buy toilet paper. Its sickening.

Dont = Don't
Bilionaire = Billionaire
You are = you're
It is sickening = It's sickening

While I agree with your position, I'm just pointing out that you may be struggling to buy toilet paper because you have difficulty communicating intelligently and coherently. Without solid communication skills, people won't take you seriously, personally or professionally.

Kushan said,
No need for the grammar lesson here.

Especially a poor one, "You are" and "It is" are quite correct and "You're" is just a shortening of that.

Depicus said,

Especially a poor one, "You are" and "It is" are quite correct and "You're" is just a shortening of that.

He's referring to the OP's original use of the words "your" and "its" instead of the correct spelling "you're" and "it's". Having said that, I'd actually have to disagree with Kushan's position that this isn't the place for a grammar lesson and put forth my own comment, "If not here, then where?" Obviously the education system failed this person and those close to him - family members, etc - didn't care to put forth the effort to help him.

As they used to say on that classic '80s cartoon: "Now you know. And knowing is half the battle!"

Sranshaft said,

He's referring to the OP's original use of the words "your" and "its" instead of the correct spelling "you're" and "it's". Having said that, I'd actually have to disagree with Kushan's position that this isn't the place for a grammar lesson and put forth my own comment, "If not here, then where?" Obviously the education system failed this person and those close to him - family members, etc - didn't care to put forth the effort to help him.

As they used to say on that classic '80s cartoon: "Now you know. And knowing is half the battle!"

That's a pretty ridiculous argument, this is Neowin, a tech news site, not an English learning site. It is highly unlikely that the Op is unaware of his grasp of the English language. If he wanted to improve it, he would do it somewhere else. Furthermore, you're making a lot of assumptions about the poster - maybe school hasn't failed him, maybe he's still AT school. Or perhaps he's dyslexic or has some other learning difficulties and has struggled with it for years, then people come and pick him apart? No, this is not the place for it and calling him out in public is disrespectful.

Kushan said,
No, this is not the place for it and calling him out in public is disrespectful.

Communicating properly is ALWAYS appropriate, regardless of venue or audience. And I maintain that I presented my comments/criticisms respectfully.

Kushan said,
No, this is not the place for it and calling him out in public is disrespectful.

Communicating properly is ALWAYS appropriate, regardless of venue or audience. And I maintain that I presented my comments/criticisms respectfully.

excalpius said,

Dont = Don't
Bilionaire = Billionaire
You are = you're
It is sickening = It's sickening

While I agree with your position, I'm just pointing out that you may be struggling to buy toilet paper because you have difficulty communicating intelligently and coherently. Without solid communication skills, people won't take you seriously, personally or professionally.


Dude, what's wrong with you. Obviously you're trolling. Take the negative emotions somewhere else.

excalpius said,

Communicating properly is ALWAYS appropriate, regardless of venue or audience. And I maintain that I presented my comments/criticisms respectfully.

Maybe you should learn how to use the comment system so you don't post twice. Perhaps the education system failed you when you learned about IT?

More dollars than cents!

Are these the business papers for Apple Computers Inc? Because they dropped the Computers when they washed out of that market and were being carried solely by iPod.

$800 dollars for 10% of a company? I don't care that it was just in a garage at the time. He must have needed some crack...

techbeck said,
Amazing what people will pay for useless things...

I don't think you understand! With these founding papers, whoever bought them now owns all of Apple!

techbeck said,
Amazing what people will pay for useless things...

well it's people with a ton of money to burn and more of a collectors item that will probably just go up in price as the years go by especially if Apple stays around for decades etc.

ThaCrip said,

well it's people with a ton of money to burn and more of a collectors item that will probably just go up in price as the years go by especially if Apple stays around for decades etc.

Still pretty stupid and a waste of money. IMO. Its not like its the Declaration of Independence or anything like that. Its a company, plain and simple. If Apple goes under tomorrow, the papers would be useless.

techbeck said,

Still pretty stupid and a waste of money. IMO. Its not like its the Declaration of Independence or anything like that. Its a company, plain and simple. If Apple goes under tomorrow, the papers would be useless.

Yea, why do you think Elvis and Michael Jackson's things are now completely worthless now that they are dead? O wait...

Also, the papers are "useless" regardless of if the company is still around. The worth of the papers do not come from their "usefulness" or artwork wouldn't sell at all either for much money.

techbeck said,
If Apple goes under tomorrow, the papers would be useless.

I'd disagree, if apple went under tomorrow, as it's winter and all, these papers would make an awesome small fire to keep the people that bought it warm for a moment or so!

Enron said,

I don't think you understand! With these founding papers, whoever bought them now owns all of Apple!

finally a good one on neowin

ILikeTobacco said,

Yea, why do you think Elvis and Michael Jackson's things are now completely worthless now that they are dead? O wait...

Also, the papers are "useless" regardless of if the company is still around. The worth of the papers do not come from their "usefulness" or artwork wouldn't sell at all either for much money.


If people loose interest in Apple and it becomes a dead company then those papers will be worth nothing and will be more difficult to auction off. The tech industry is different than the music industry. So that comparison is invalid. Music is emotional while Tech is not.... oh wait.... The Apple Cult are emotionally attached to their god which makes my claim invalid......lol

jesseinsf said,

If people loose interest in Apple and it becomes a dead company then those papers will be worth nothing and will be more difficult to auction off. The tech industry is different than the music industry. So that comparison is invalid. Music is emotional while Tech is not.... oh wait.... The Apple Cult are emotionally attached to their god which makes my claim invalid......lol

Not different than any other tech cult. ie. Linux, Andriod, Windows, etc. That's what makes these papers worth something. While you may disagree, there will be people reading this that fall into one of those categories and will immediately think, how dare he put me in the same category and say I am in a cult. Those people are proving my point just by thinking exactly that.

I wonder how much their bankrupt papers will go to auction for in about 10 years..

jt (just trolling)

sucks that Wayne only got 800 bucks for 10 percent at the time.. that would be worth around 30 billion dollars today.. I guess he finally got some cash for his proper record keeping though.. Think about being the 3rd guy that started apple and you have to spend your whole life showing people the paperwork just so they believe you.. lol