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Alleged first-gen iPhone prototype fetching bids of over $36,000 on eBay

From time to time, the world has caught a glimpse of various hardware prototypes and Apple's iPhone has been no exception. Back in 2010, an engineering prototype of the iPhone 4 leaked having allegedly been obtained directly from a Foxconn factory but, less than a fortnight later, the fourth-generation iPhone was infamously found in a bar in San Jose, California. Plus, last year, images of two hardware precursors to the original iPhone, dubbed "Wallabies", used in the development of the software keyboard came to light.

Now, it seems that a purported prototype bearing a close resemblance to the finalized appearance of the original iPhone has popped up on eBay. However, according to the seller, there are a number of differences between the alleged pre-production model and what was eventually released to market by Apple, of which some are mentioned in the eBay listing:

  • Rare Apple engineer sticker which says Ver 1.1.1
  • Running multiple testing software, including OS X and Earthbound (not the normal OS 1)
  • Used by Apple for testing to make the original iPhone
  • Circa 2006. Before the original iPhone release date (mid 2007)
  • Different weight. Much heavier at 144.5 grams (normal iphone 2g is 135 gram)
  • No FCC etchings at the back
  • Bell icon for the mute button
  • Complete different internals, including different battery, different wifi etc
  • Excellent investment
  • Early prototype
  • Hand made in Cupertino, California. (not mass produced in China like normal iPhones)
  • Secretly code named Project Purple (at this stage of development, the "iPhone" name was unknown)​
  • EXTREMLY RARE. Only a few are known to exist
  • Highly sought after

Over the last day, bids for the iPhone have shot up from $1,009.99 to $36,100 at the time of writing with just over a week left to go before the auction winds up. Interestingly, the device was originally listed in 2015 but, for whatever reason, the sale did not proceed at the time. At any rate, if you have tens of thousands of dollars burning a hole in your wallet and you're into tech collectibles then this may be of interest unless Apple manages to have the listing withdrawn in the meantime.

Source: 9to5Mac via The Inquirer

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