- Apr 12, 2001
An alleged prototype version of Apple's original iPhone has sold on eBay for $1499, with the device appearing to be in excellent condition and containing signal strength measurements etched on the rear casing. The device is also shown running Apple's internal diagnostic software.
I am selling a very rare original iPhone engineering prototype. These were used to test the iPhone's various features. To do so, a special test software was installed, which is still running on the device perfectly.
This is device is especially rare, as it shows the initial iOS version installed and the signal strength values etched on the back. This was done by Apple internally and is guaranteed genuine.
The authenticity of the device has not been confirmed, and similar signal strength etchings do not appear to have been seen on other prototypes, but the device does lack the standard regulatory text on the rear casing that would be present on a non-prototype unit. A reddit user claims to be the buyer of the device, but it has not yet been delivered to allow for further testing of its authenticity.
It is not unusual for prototype Apple devices to appear on eBay, and many of these auctions are quickly removed, presumably at Apple's request. This auction was able to be completed, perhaps due to having been posted for only two days and having ended through a "Buy It Now" purchase well ahead of the scheduled ending time.
Article Link: Purported Original iPhone Prototype Sells on eBay for $1499