Anyone think iPad 1 will be a collectors item one day?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by btownguy, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. btownguy macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2009
    I mean, it may not be fully clear just yet, but I think this whole tablet computer thing is really a long-term game changer. I can see the iPad 1 being a collectors item one day. Not so much to make money, but just a cool thing to hold on to. Kind of like a boxed version of Windows 1.0 or something.
  2. frunkis54 macrumors 65816


    Apr 2, 2009
  3. Surf Monkey macrumors 68030

    Surf Monkey

    Oct 3, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Example from my background as a former antiquarian book dealer:

    For a book (or any item for that matter) to be considered scarce there need to be fewer than 2,000. For an item to be considered truly rare there need to be less than 500. Anything over 2,000 means that the item is not scarce and can probably be found for a reasonable price without much effort.

    MILLIONS of first generation iPads were sold. It will NEVER be considered rare, scarce or even marginally collectible, because for the rest of your life you'll be able to find ones in excellent condition with no effort whatsoever.
  4. rdowty macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2008
    I can't imagine the value going anywhere but down. They build 15 million or so which means they're not exactly rare.
  5. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2010
  6. btownguy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2009
    A useful and insightful response. Thanks for that. I think I will hold on to it after it has outlived it's usefulness anyway. May be a good conversation piece 30 years from now.
  7. tkadrum macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2011
    YES! Will sitting there and collect dust!
  8. diacritic macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2010
    Using the same analogy you found insightful: I don't think the ipad will be any more a conversation piece 30 years later than a dusty old paperback book (or an old national geographic magazine) is today. If you're getting an ipad 2 then sell it now while it has value. . . .
  9. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    I'm still waiting for my G4 cube to turn into a collector's item...
  10. v66jack macrumors 6502a


    May 20, 2009
    London, UK
    One day when humans are extinct, maybe someone will find one in a treasure chest or time capsule. Then maybe it'll be worth something. But I doubt it will be a collectors item in the near future.
  11. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Oct 14, 2010
    As long as it is factory sealed in the original box ... it will gain value one day
  12. MTI macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2009
    Scottsdale, AZ
    There will always be a fruitcake (no pun intended) collector out there who will covet a "still in shrink wrap" unit . . . but it's unlikely to be a large audience.

    For instance, I still have my 5GB original iPod, scroll wheel and all, and I don't think it would fetch it's original price.
  13. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    You would be WAY better off buying a a couple of shares of Apple stock.;)

    The iPad is as common as dirt and there will likely still be 1000s still sealed in 10 years.
  14. applefan289 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    One thing that nobody has pointed out here is this:

    Quality is timeless.

    I've noticed that quality products tend to last a very long time and retain their value. Yes, the product may be outdated, but the actual "build" is of high quality, so it will always have some value, if it has no monetary value, it will have the same kind of value as a well-built piece of furniture.
  15. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Not really, maybe in 50 years or something if you kept it sealed in the box in pristine condition but realistically.
  16. Kaidan macrumors member


    Jan 6, 2009
    London, UK
    Only if you put it in a time capsule for 100 years+

    Just far too many sold.
  17. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    This definitely doesn't apply to "any item". Take vintage Rolex sport watches. There were tens perhaps hundreds of thousands of plastic crystal Submariners, model 1680 for example, produced from 1970 to 1977. Each and every one of them is worth far more than their retail price when they were produced, in almost any condition, and are extremely collectible.

    There weren't millions of 5GB 1st gen iPods produced, but far more than 2000, and they're fetching upwards of $500 in good condition now. It was a first generation product and a game changer, exactly like the iPad.

    One of the keys to something becoming collectible in my experience is the perceived expendibility of the item in the era it was made. The very reason some things become collectible is because no thought they ever would.

    The popularity of the company that produced it is also a factor. If Apple stays in business and maintains its growing popularity for the next 100 years, I'd feel very comfortable in betting nearly everything they made in their first 50 years would have some degree of collectibility and value.
  18. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I think it will be one of those gadgets that you'll love to look at, admire, and play with, even decades later. Along with iconic items like the Nintendo PowerGlove or the original Palm Pilot or the Newton. It may not be worth that much in terms of cash, but it will definitely take its place in electronics history.
  19. Surf Monkey macrumors 68030

    Surf Monkey

    Oct 3, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I actually collect watches.

    There's a fine distinction here. Rarity and collectability don't necessarily go hand in hand. Yes, the Rolex Sub you mention is collectable, but it isn't rare or scarce. If you want one and you have the cash you can have one. Additionally, the value of many Rolex watches is not driven be scarcity but rather the intrinsic prestige of the brand (whether perceived or actual is debatable.)

    So, yes, your point is well taken. My analogy doesn't apply to every situation, but I submit that iPads are a lot more like books than Rolex.

  20. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I disagree. Just because an item is mass produced doesnt mean it won't have value in the future. It is often the things that are most common that eventually become almost impossible to find in good condition because nobody thinks to preserve them. Ford produced the Model A by the millions too, yet they have certainly gained in value!

    Now I wouldn't buy an iPad as an investment, but I imagine even in 10 years time, a 1st generation still in it's box would fetch a good deal more than it costs now. In 50 years it could be many, many times more valuable.
  21. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68030

    PBG4 Dude

    Jul 6, 2007
    It may be bigger in dollars compared to what you paid, but will that value exceed inflation? This is my question.

    I have a 2nd gen 20GB iPod (pre 30 pin data connector, FireWire only). I doubt this will ever become a collector's item.
  22. alan111 macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2010
    I think it will be a collector's item, but only in a new, sealed condition. have you seen what 1st gen ipods go for? some of them go for like $1k-1.5k in new sealed!
  23. 3N16MA macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2009
    I wouldn't doubt that there is a select group that actually buys Apple products only to keep them all wrapped up for collection purposes. Especially since Apple took off after the iPod went mainstream. No one was thinking of keeping pristine 1st Gen iPod's around still wrapped. I bet more people thought about doing that with the iPhone 2g and even more with the iPad.
  24. vrDrew macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    Midlife, Midwest
    The flip side of an electronic device like the iPad (as opposed to, say, watches or books) is that over decades, it is likely very to deteriorate to the point of destruction.

    Not necessarily the case or screen. But the battery inside is essentially a plastic-wrapped slab of acid. Which will eventually eat its way out, spilling into the inside and turning most unused iPads into discolored, hollow shells.

    This will be the inevitable fate of the millions of iPads that don't end up in landfills, or shipped to some toxic hellhole in Bangladesh or China for recycling of e-waste.

    One could, of course, prevent this grisly fate by cracking open the iPad, and removing the battery before putting it into long-term storage. But this does sort of raise the question as to whether or not replacement batteries will be available thirty, or even TEN, years from now.

    So, a shrink-wrapped iPad sitting on the top shelf of your closet for thirty years or so is very unlikely to be in working, or even usable condition. And a collector of fin de Millénaire electronic relics in the year 2310 is likely to be as disappointed as was the wine collector who bought the Jefferson bottles in 1985.
  25. eye macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2009

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