No bites (yet) for Apple collectibles after death of Jobs

Thu Oct 6, 2011 5:54pm EDT
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By Lou Carlozo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Not everything Steve Jobs touched, as it turns out, turned to iGold.

With 12 minutes to go, an eBay auction ticked down, down, down Thursday afternoon for a trinket of Apple history dubbed "COLLECTIBLE-RARE": A set of demo floppy discs released between 1980 and 1983 for Apple III software programs.

The high bid: $7.50 for the set of seven, in pristine condition. And the top bidder, one of just two on the virtual auction floor, didn't even meet the reserve price. In the end, no one won the item and the disks went unsold, presumably to return to a dusty drawer in someone's basement.

Talk about a glitch in the program: When pop culture heroes die, their cultural artifacts are supposed to soar in value. But in the 24 hours after Jobs passed away from pancreatic cancer Wednesday, the news had yet to send prices on Apple regalia through the roof.

Elsewhere on eBay, the bidding activity was so silent you could hear a hard drive chug from 50 feet away. No bids on an Apple III external floppy disc drive, "buy it now" priced to sell at $160. Likewise for an Apple III System PFS Report software package, looking pristine and offered for $90.

Nor was there barely any love for newly-minted "Steve Jobs R.I.P." baseball caps, with the old-school Apple silhouette logo utilizing a profile of Jobs. Bidders cast a few scattered offers in the $12 range for the hats - maybe one or two per eBay vendor - and that was it.

It was as though Apple groupies, already disappointed with unveiling of the iPhone 4S, decided to cocoon with their MacBooks and pine for the good old days in private - avoiding their usual impulse to spend every spare dime on All Things Apple.

Yet as nostalgia and fondness for the high-tech guru builds over the next few weeks, that could well change. A Playboy magazine featuring an extensive interview with Jobs, from February 1985, was up to $71 in a mild sort of bidding frenzy. (In this case, it's assumed the winning bidder truly wants the Playboy to read the article.)   Continued...

<p>Customer look at computer screens in an Apple store in central Prague, October 6, 2011. REUTERS/Petr Josek</p>