A one-off special edition Mac Pro designed for the Product (RED) has sold at auction for the staggering price of US$977,000. It was expected to go for between US$40,000 and $60,000. The extraordinary result makes it the most expensive PC ever built or sold.
The charity auction, held on Saturday 23 November, at Sotheby’s in New York, was to benefit the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. And the Mac Pro was just one of a number of items designed by a team led by Apple’s Jony Ive and renowned designer Marc Newson.
Also fetching skyscraping prices were a pair of 18-carat ‘rose’ gold ear buds that went for US$461,000 (confounding expectations of a US$20,000 to US$25,000 price tag) and a Leica digital rangefinder camera that smashed through the US$1 million barrier, with the hammer eventually falling on a bid of US$1,805,000 (though, to be fair, prior estimates did hover around the half to three-quarter million-dollar mark on this one).
Altogether, the auction – organised by the powerhouse trio of Ive, Newson and U2 singer Bono – raised US$12,883,000 for the charity.
And if you are wondering why there’s a stormtrooper’s helmet reflected in the shiny glossy casing of that oh-so desirable Mac Pro, that would be because Mr George Lucas also had a hand in the action – donating a signed Star Wars helmet, which netted US$245,000.
Of course, the Mac Pro may have been just that bit more sought after, as the actual product is still not available to buy through regular channels. Promised in ‘the fall’ (Australian spring), Apple’s highest end computer has yet to make a bow, though some commentators have noted that winter doesn’t officially start in the US until the 21 December equinox, giving the Cupertino, California company just under a month to launch the machine. Apple’s online store currently reads “coming in December”.
The Mac Pro was first introduced at WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) in June of this year, before being revealed in greater detail at Apple’s 22 October media event.
With its radical new design and ground-breaking features, “The new Mac Pro is our vision for the future of the pro desktop, everything about it has been reimagined and there has never been anything like it,” according to Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Philip Schiller.
When finally released, the Mac Pro will set you back a cool $3999 for the quad-core starting model or $5299 for the six-core 16GB, dual AMD FirePro D500 graphic processor version.
If only they all came in red too…