A functioning Apple 1 computer, the first designed, built and sold by Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak has sold at auction for £240,929.

The rare computer, of which only 200 were ever made, sold for double the price Sotheby's had expected.

The circuit boards originally sold for $666.66 when they were made by hand and released in April 1976.

It was Jobs' idea to sell the circuit board. Wozniak later said he came up with the price "because I like repeating digits" and not for its biblical connotations, which offended some Christians.

Just 50 of the computers are known to exist, and very few work - as the model sold on Friday does. It also includes the original manuals.

Sotheby's said in its listing:

When Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs presented the Apple I Computer to the Homebrew Computer Club in 1976, it was dismissed by everyone but Paul Terrell, the owner of a chain of stores called Byte Shop. Terrell ordered 50 computers for $500 apiece, insisting that the circuit boards come fully assembled rather than as DIY kits similar to the Altair, and Jobs and Woz managed to produce the requisite computers in 30 days.

They continued production, immediately creating 50 additional Apple I's to sell to friends and an additional 100 to sell through vendors, at a retail price of $666.66, a number that garnered complaints among conservative Christians, but provided a lucrative 33% markup.

As the first ready-made personal computer, the Apple I signaled a new age in which computing became accessible to the masses. The interface of circuitry and software that Woz created enabled users to type letters with "a humantypable keyboard instead of a stupid, cryptic front panel with a bunch of lights and switches," as he explained to the Homebrew Computer Club.

In 1999 an Apple 1 sold for $50,000 but by November 2010 another sold at auction for $178,000.

Sotheby's said that two parties had been fighting to obtain the computer but that in the end an anonymous telephone bidder won the day.

A memo written by Jobs for the games company Atari sold for £17,580 at the auction in New York.

In the memo Jobs list ways to improve the company's World Cup football game.

Each of the pages is printed with Jobs' home address and his mantra "gate gate paragate parasangate bodhi svahdl" which the BBC said translates as "Going, going, going on beyond, always going on beyond, always becoming Buddha."