Proto-iPhone on eBay: Do You Buy It?

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A pre-release version of the original iPhone has surfaced for sale on eBay, though if it’s real, it may not be there for long.

According to the Bloomington, IL seller, up for auction is “a quite rare and collectable example of iPhone prototype,” that even runs on a beta version of the iPhone OS.

The device features a matte plastic screen and has serial number YM649xxxxxx, which the seller claims corresponds to a factory in China, manufactured week 49 of the year 2006. It supposedly works, running iPhone OS 03.06.01_G — the iPhone launched running OS 1.0, version 03.11.02_G.

The seller claims the phone can make calls, browse the mobile versions of websites, and can receive SMS, but lacks any way to manually type an SMS on the phone.

Also for sale is a non-working prototype with a glass screen, a slightly higher serial number, and is described as being in “fair” cosmetic condition, with various scratches.

The bid on the two phones is currently $735, though it remains to be seen whether the auction will close on March 11 as scheduled. Apple demanded eBay take down a recent auction for a pre-release iPod, citing intellectual property concerns. eBay quickly complied, though the iPod owner apparently sold his device privately anyway.

[iLounge]

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