The appearance of prototype iPhones on eBay is something that has happened before, and while Apple does have a pretty decent track record of getting them pulled from the auction site before completion, some of them have been known to slip through the net.
The seller of the latest prototype to appear on eBay will be hoping this is the case here, and interestingly, it doesn’t seem to be your ruin-of-the-mill prototype, either.
Being sold by a relatively small eBay account from Portland, Oregon, the iPhone carries markings on the back which explain the radio signal bands for things like WiFi and cellular, while also noting that this is iPhone Ver. 1.1.1.
Quite what that means is unclear, but the seller does state that this iPhone was hand-built by Apple in Cupertino and as a result, weighs in at 144.5g which is more than the 135g that a standard first-generation iPhone weighs.
There are more oddities here too, with the seller covering off some of the things that make this prototype more interesting than those that have popped up in the past.
- 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 wi-fi 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
The iPhone is currently available with a highest bid of over $13,100. That may sound a lot, but apparently, this very same iPhone sold at auction back in 2015 for a massive $61,100 although for some reason the sale never went through.
Now the seller will just have to hope for better luck this time.
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