Boxed original iPhone fetches $55,000

The sale of a 16-year-old iPhone brought exactly 54,904 US dollars – around 51,500 euros. The hardware was listed at the auction house RR Auction, which specializes in electronics, and was up for auction for around a month. The result was announced at the weekend. The special feature: The device is still a model in the original sealed packaging that has never been put into operation. It is said to come from a former Apple employee who bought it when it went on sale on June 29, 2007.

It had already been indicated before that original iPhones in this condition (“Mint Condition”) could bring in a lot of money. A device of the same kind – in its original packaging, never used – achieved more than $60,000 in February. That was the previous record for a first-generation iPhone. From today’s perspective, the hardware itself is rather unexciting: It only comes with EDGE technology, not even with 3G (UMTS) and has a 3.5-inch screen, which is small by today’s standards.

The 32-bit processor was a Samsung ARM system running at 620MHz, but was limited to 412MHz, the GPU was a PowerVR MBX Lite 3D. Apple gave the first iPhone 128 MB of RAM, and the integrated flash memory could be equipped with 4, 8 or 16 GB. After all, the $55,000 piece was the 8 GB variant.

A total of twelve icons can be seen on the iPhone screen on the packaging – a 13th icon, the multimedia app iTunes, is still missing, this was only added later in 2007. So it should be the first iPhone 1 production run. The seller also gives an original bag from AT&T (Cingular Wireless back then) and an information sheet with tariffs. The hardware was originally acquired because the Apple employee was interested in an iPhone; however, it stayed on the shelf because Apple later gave it a professional device itself.

The iPhone 1 in its original condition shows a trend towards rising prices. If you could still get the devices in 2022 from 35,000 dollars, that is now almost twice as much. There were also other interesting Apple memorabilia up for grabs during the auction. These included an Apple-1, posters and t-shirts. There was even an old Apple carpet. An iPhone 11 signed by Tim Cook fetched almost $4,000.

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