The $100,000 iPhone 6 prototype is just the latest in a long string of one-of-a-kind Apple auctions over the years. Check out our gallery for 10 of the other most memorable, once-in-a-lifetime Apple lots ever to go under the hammer.
Photo: Adam Rosen
Apple's original rainbow office signs
Want to pretend you're an Apple employee from the dark days before Steve Jobs made his return? These styrofoam and fiberglass signs hung from the east-facing side of Infinite Loop’s Building 3 between 1993 and 1997. They went under the hammer at British auction house Bonhams earlier this year, ultimately fetching $35,000.
Broken stair from an Apple Store
This broken step didn't come from just any Apple Store, mind you. The cracked glass step came from the spiral staircase in Apple’s iconic 5th Avenue store in New York City.
Sold in 2010 by former store employee Mark Burstiner for $9,950, the step was reportedly cracked by a customer’s Snapple bottle.
Photo: Mark Burstiner
The best Apple Store shirt ever
When your name is the oh-so-ironic Sam Sung, it's quite frankly amazing you were ever allowed in for an Apple Store interview to begin with.
If you’re an Apple fan (and who reading this isn’t?), there are few conversations that would be better than sitting down with one of the company’s top execs to quiz them over all things Cupertino.
That was the rationale behind a 2013 auction to raise money for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. The prize? A cup of coffee with Tim Cook at 1 Infinite Loop. The eye-watering (iWatering?) price tag: $610,000.
Even at that price he’s not going to tell you what the iPhone 7 looks like, or if Jony Ive is working on an aluminum hover board, but it would still be the conversation of a lifetime. If you’re feeling a bit cash-strapped, you could try lunch with Mr. Fix-It Eddy Cue. A related auction went for "just" $10,000.
An early memo written by Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs was never short of opinions. What made this particular note a bit less common, however, is that it was written by a 19-year-old Jobs during his stint at Atari, suggesting changes to the company's World Cup Soccer arcade game.
It was stamped with Jobs' home address in Los Altos, California, and a Buddhist mantra translating as, "Going, going, going on beyond, always going on beyond, always becoming Buddha."
Rare portrait-mode Mac prototype
It's only made from painted foam, but this portrait-mode Macintosh LC from 1989 is a piece of alternate-universe Apple history that never was. It could've been yours for just $2,250.
Apple's founding documents
Apple memorabilia doesn't come much better than this: the original three-page document founding Apple Computer Co. as a company. It was signed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, the unlucky investor who sold his 10 percent stake in Apple for $800.
This auction lot went for a massive $1.6 million.
Bill Clinton's iPod
Back in 2009, the 42nd president auctioned off a signed (PRODUCT) RED iPod as a show of his support for the fight against AIDS.
A few of the songs it contained? Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl," Carly Simon's "I Get Along Without You Very Well" and Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water." The winning bidder even got a $25 iTunes voucher thrown in.
Photo: Tonic Auctions
Gene Roddenberry's Macintosh
Given that devices such as the iPhone and Apple Watch have brought sci-fi concepts like the tricorder and communicator to life, it's no wonder that the creator of Star Trek would be a Mac owner.
Back in 2009, Roddenberry's upgraded Mac 128K was auctioned off as part of a Hollywood memorabilia show. The asking price was between $800 and $1,200.
With the probable iPhone 6 reveal nearing, a new Samsung device — referred to as the Samsung Galaxy Alpha — has leaked. The ongoing Apple-Samsung rivalry means the two companies battle each other with practically every new device and software update. But will Samsung’s latest offering hold its own against the iPhone 6? Or will it become another faceless device that’s simply here then gone?
Sam Sung, the most ironically named Apple retail employee on Earth, is giving away his work shirt, badge and business card to raise money for charity. The eBay auction ended last night with a winning bid of $2,653.
“I had a great time working for Apple and would recommend it to anyone,” said Sung in the auction description. “I hope my old business card will go to another fellow Apple enthusiast with a sense of humour and the desire to help raise some money for a good cause.”
All proceeds from the auction will go to The Children’s Wish Foundation, a nonprofit group that “provides children living with life threatening illnesses the opportunity to realize their most heartfelt wish.”
Apple fanboys with a sense of humor and few hundred bucks to spare can own a piece of the thermonuclear history between Apple and Samsung, by throwing down on an eBay auction by the guy who had the worst name for an Apple Store specialist ever.
Can you imagine being this poor Apple Store specialist, Mr. Sam Sung? The glowers of suspicion, the titters of ridicule he must have to endure? But he’ll show them. He’ll show them all as he conducts his job with ruthless efficiency, schooling Apple Store customer after Apple Store customer in his way of doing things. The Sam Sung Way.