If you paid $1,698 for an Apple II with 16K of RAM back in 1977, there’s a good chance you bought it from Team Electronics in Minneapolis. Now called FirstTech has announced that it’ll shut down at the end of the month after 73 years in business. It first encountered Apple at the historic 1977 West Coast Computer Faire and expressed strong interest in the pre-production Apple II. Since it was a chain at the time, future Apple CEO Mike Markkula personally flew to Minnesota with the fifth production model and signed it up as the first ever US dealer. They stuck with Apple through better or worse over the next 37 years. Luckily, it seems to have kept a lot of crazy and valuable early items.
We’ve yet to see any sort of official announcement, but folks have been flooding various deal sites with reports that Verizon is now selling the original iPad for just $299.99 in-store. That’s for the 16GB WiFi-only model, of course, but the 32GB and 64GB models have also apparently been discounted to $399.99 and $499.99, respectively. As you might suspect, however, there’s also plenty of reports of Verizon already being sold out, so you might not want to waste much time if you’re thinking about taking the plunge. MiFi sold separately, of course.