Collecting vintage Apple products that are still new gets me excited. The older the Apple is the harder it is to find in this condition. It wouldn’t be hard to find any old Apple in only good grade condition, but if I’m going to buy it used and in only good condition it would have to be extremely rare.
If you are into all things Apple, mint condition items (machines or merchandise) aren’t tremendously hard to find, especially on eBay. It is a function of your budget and space to display them all. The new (unused) old Apples are measurably more difficult to find though.
A direction that is even harder still to successfully pursue is finding either new or mint condition collectibles with their original box. If the Apple is vintage, then this can be very difficult. I mean who bought themselves a new Apple 20 or 30 years ago AND saved the box? Some did, I know, but to find a Macintosh or an iMac, or whatever, in collectible condition and still has its box that’s not all dented or beat up can be a challenge. But that’s what I like to do and all the way down to including their original manuals and peripherals.
We know too that some of the Apple merchandise from their The Apple Collection product gift catalogs didn’t come in boxes though. I have many such new merchandise items, but not many Apple machines with their boxes. Most of the time when folks bought their new Apple, well, they used it and keeping the box wasn’t on their minds. So, I am a box collector too then. Not because I actually collect Apple empty boxes, but when have I ever bought anything Apple, be it my iPhone, iMac or even the ginormous 2007 30″ Cinema Display, regardless, and thrown away their boxes.
I love to find old Apples that still have their original boxes. I have several, like the one that came with the Flat Panel iMac (2005) when I bought it a few years ago. I store the boxes out in my carport room, unfortunately, they are out there collecting dust.
And like my first and second gen iPods.
My Favorite Apple Collection Category
Finding an older Apple that is still new (unused and in brand new condition) and in its box (called New In Box or NIB) steps up the level of difficulty a notch or two, which brings me to my absolute favorite Apple sub-collection. My most prized sub-collection is finding old Apple products that are new in the box (NIB) and most importantly still are factory sealed and were never opened.
Factory sealed Apple collectibles are the most expensive collection category and the older product or the production date the rarer, more expensive and harder to find they become.
Obviously finding a recently manufactured new Apple is easy and they are plentiful, like an iPhone 5 or last year’s iPad. As a self-appointed Apple historian, I love to then add the layer of any first gen product line. The more recent inventions usually come from when I bought it, like the first iPhone or iPad. I still have the ones I bought when they first came out. The issue with collecting what you bought to use is that they typically aren’t in collectible condition- they are scratched up, so I just keep them as sentimental tokens of my personal Apple journey only.
Short of owning an Apple 1, Steve Job’s Porsche or one of his business cards, any first gen still NIB factory sealed ranks at the very top of my most treasured.
An Apple collection can go a million directions as you can see and if you elect to add NIB factory sealed Apples as your primary collection it will be challenging. I know we collectors love the hunt though- the pursuit of finding new Apples to add to our collection- the quest of exploring the real and virtual worlds for these treasures.
Honestly, while collecting NIB Factory Sealed Apples make my heart go thump I really only have a few due to their rarity and expense.
One day while trying to rationalize the high price of the NIB sealed original iPhone (which I never could) I discovered a NIB factory sealed 1st Gen iPad. I was elated. It was even in the original box Apple shipped it in…but I opened that one 🙂
While I’d love to add that iPhone, I find myself constantly lusting over the original iPod. One guy on eBay wants over $10,000 for his. I do have the factory sealed NIB 3rd Gen iPod from 2003. It’s the coolest one as it sports the backlit buttons.
And yet my all time favorite factory sealed NIB has a manufactured date of 1985, so this is my oldest Apple still in its factory sealed and unopened box. It is the Apple IIc.
You may have noticed the original stand and monitor too. They were all purchased at the same time and never opened. The backstory is these were purchased by a company in St. Louis that after buying the IIC decided to go with a different computer system and stored these in their closet for all these years. When I bought the IIC I got its stand and monitor too, which I thought was pretty cool. Still together after all these years.