As iPhone turns 15, old prototypes could fetch $500,000 each | Cult of Mac

As iPhone turns 15, old prototypes could fetch $500,000 each

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Half a million for an
Half a million for an "old-ass iPhone," as Miani put it? Really?
Photo: Luke Miani

Apple iPhone turns 15 years old today. To mark the occasion, YouTuber Luke Miani showed off a handful of iPhone prototypes. They feature pre-release software and somewhat unfamiliar designs.

To give you an idea of how rare these handsets are, two of them are valued at $500,000 apiece.

Happy birthday, iPhone: Prototypes dating as far back as 2006 are worth $500,000

Apple put the original iPhone on sale on June 29, 2007. In Miani’s latest video, he displays and demonstrates several prototype devices. One of them dates back to 2006.

Some of the devices look more like the final design than others. One has the plastic display Cupertino swapped out late in development in favor of Corning glass, a precursor to the company’s Gorilla Glass.

And two of the prototypes hail from so early in production that they still have stickers on the back that source the device’s parts.

Some of the prototypes feature unfinished bezels and run testing software that looks like an iPod click wheel on a digital touch screen. That’s a reminder that Apple, on its road to inventing iPhone, considered turning the iPod into a smartphone.

Because of their extreme rareness, two of the pre-release iPhones are valued at about $500,000.

Miani sourced the collection from a YouTuber named DongleBookPro, who may offer a deeper-dive into each prototype device in the near future.