First-generation iPhone that fetched over 300 times its original value

Jul 17, 2023, 7:45 PM UTC
3 mins read
First-generation iPhone that fetched over 300 times its original value
A vector render of the 1st generation iPhone. (Credit: Rafael Fernandez)

Apple has long been associated with cutting-edge innovation and premium quality. Owning an iPhone has become a symbol of status and style, often accompanied by a hefty price tag. However, the exorbitant cost of purchasing a brand-new iPhone pales in comparison to the mind-boggling price recently fetched by an unboxed, first-generation iPhone (2007) at auction. This extraordinary event saw the iconic device sell for over 300 times its original retail price, leaving both technology enthusiasts and financial analysts astonished.

In a remarkable turn of events, a pristine, factory-sealed 4GB model of the first-generation iPhone achieved an astounding price of $158,644 at auction. The winning bid far surpassed the estimated value of $100,000, as well as the previous record of $63,356 set in February. Including the auction house fee, the triumphant bidder found themselves parting with a total of $190,372 to secure this remarkable piece of Apple history.

First-generation iPhone that fetched over 300 times its original value
(Image screenshot via LCG Auctions)

What makes this particular handset so coveted and valuable? The answer lies in its rarity and historical significance. Apple swiftly discontinued the 4GB variant a mere two months after its initial launch in 2007 due to lackluster sales. This decision left customers with the more popular 8GB option, followed by the introduction of a 16GB version the following year. The scarcity of the 4GB model has amplified its desirability among collectors and technology aficionados, making it a highly sought-after artifact.

Described by LCG Auctions, a reputable Los Angeles-based auction house, as an “exceedingly rare, factory-sealed, first-release 4GB model in exceptional condition,” this device possesses an allure that captivates collectors worldwide. The auction house further highlighted its flawless exterior, with impeccable surface, edge, and label conditions beneath the pristine factory seal. The handset’s unactivated state, coupled with its outstanding color and gloss, adds to its appeal and positions it as a genuine collector’s dream.

Related / Setting up an original iPhone today is not as easy as you think

To fully comprehend the significance of this record-breaking auction, it is essential to reflect on the iPhone’s humble beginnings. The original iPhone, unveiled in June 2007, sported a modest 3.5-inch display and a rudimentary 2-megapixel camera. Priced at $499 for the 4GB variant and $599 for the 8GB model, these devices marked the inception of a technological revolution that would redefine the smartphone industry.

While the recent auction has captivated the attention of technology enthusiasts and collectors alike, it is important to acknowledge Apple’s relentless pursuit of innovation. As consumers eagerly anticipate the arrival of the iPhone 15 lineup in the upcoming fall season, Apple continues to push the boundaries of technology, striving to deliver enhanced features, design advancements, and unparalleled user experiences.

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