Original iPhone Prototype Sells On eBay For A Hefty $1,499

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Occasionally a rare piece of Apple gear will appear on eBay and be suddenly pulled. Why? Apple doesn’t like it when its internal hardware gets exposed out in the wild. But sometimes a prototype slips through Cupertino’s watchful eye and gets sold.

An eBay seller in Australia has sold what appears to be an original iPhone engineering prototype for a nice sum of $1,499.

“I am selling a very rare original iPhone engineering prototype,” reads the description from eBay user applefancollector. “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.” The seller claims to know of only 5 other such prototypes in existence.

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As evidenced by the photos, this prototype is running Apple’s internal diagnostics software. The device’s signal strengths have been etched into the rear casing for testing purposes.

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Apple allegedly stopped the auction of another one of these iPhone prototypes a few weeks ago. We can’t confirm the hardware’s authenticity, but someone out there was confident enough to put down $1,500. Reddit user “DidIGetSuckered” is claiming to be the buyer. “So I went ahead and bought it. I figured with the prices for older Macs being what they are, this would be worth a bundle in the future if it is genuine.”

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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