An iPhone 4 prototype has climbed to a massive $999,999 on eBay in the space of two days as rich buyers (perhaps companies? Apple? fake bids?) attempt to outbid each other to gain access to the pre-release Apple device. What’s more, is that the device doesn’t actually work and is being sold “for parts or not working” and, luckily, without any sort of carrier contract and free shipping.
Listed as an “Apple iPhone 4 black APPLE GENUINE PROTOTYPE, TESTER”, the device is claimed to have no water damage or to have ever been taken apart, and according to the seller does not have a valid serial number when queried in the Apple.com database. There are also several other hints that indicate the iPhone is, in-fact, a tester model:
1. iPhone has wear on the frame, some small marks on the rear cover, small marks on the screen. No cracks and no deep scratches.
2. Volume buttons don't have the usual + for upper button and - for lower volume button
3. Phone will not activate on at&t and when syncing with iTunes it says that this phone can not be activated with at&t sim card it won't activate (please review picture #10)
4. On rear cover Model No.: XXXXX FCC ID: BCGAXXXXX IC ID: 579C-AXXXXX (please review picture #8)
5. Front screen and rear cover has some type of numbers printed on the inside.
All of the above can be confirmed by the numerous photos that the seller, “jtmaxo” located in California, has kindly provided. He also gives a reason as to how he managed to receive the device:
I am a licensed cell phone repairman, this iPhone was bought from a person who really didn't know who he had. He couldn't activate it so just simply wanted to sell it. This iPhone was bought as for parts only. As far as the legality part - phone was bought legally.
As the bidding is so close to $1 million it will surely make the alleged cell phone repairman a very rich guy – that is, of course, if the auction actually goes through and isn’t shut down by eBay or Apple before it ends in seven days.
Update: It appears as though eBay has been removing some fake/unoffical bids and the price has been reverted down to
US$101,600.00 US$100,000. Considering the reputation of the highest bidder at this stage, it is likely a real bid. We'll keep you posted on any further developments
Update 2: Bidding has been pulled right back to
$1,025 US$1,725. The seller is now requiring all potential buyers to email him before placing a bid, no matter how (ridiculously) high it is.
Update 3: The listing reached US$999,999 again before being pulled earlier today.