New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Purported Original iPhone Prototype Sells on eBay for $1499

An alleged prototype version of Apple's original iPhone has sold on eBay for $1499, with the device appearing to be in excellent condition and containing signal strength measurements etched on the rear casing. The device is also shown running Apple's internal diagnostic software.
I am selling a very rare original iPhone engineering prototype. 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.

This is device is especially rare, as it shows the initial iOS version installed and the signal strength values etched on the back. This was done by Apple internally and is guaranteed genuine.
iphone_prototype_signal
The authenticity of the device has not been confirmed, and similar signal strength etchings do not appear to have been seen on other prototypes, but the device does lack the standard regulatory text on the rear casing that would be present on a non-prototype unit. A reddit user claims to be the buyer of the device, but it has not yet been delivered to allow for further testing of its authenticity.

iphone_prototype_operator
It is not unusual for prototype Apple devices to appear on eBay, and many of these auctions are quickly removed, presumably at Apple's request. This auction was able to be completed, perhaps due to having been posted for only two days and having ended through a "Buy It Now" purchase well ahead of the scheduled ending time.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

13 months ago
Oddly enough, today's iOS 7 seems to take styling cues from that demo software.
Rating: 7 Votes
13 months ago
So amazing to see how something like this has changed phones and computing.
Rating: 6 Votes
13 months ago
in space grey too!! cool!
Rating: 5 Votes
13 months ago
Maybe the guy should have painted it red.
Rating: 4 Votes
13 months ago
Yey; running OSX!
Rating: 3 Votes
13 months ago


Yeah. The person who has the phone and can prove so probably by bill of sale or what not is the legal owner. Nothing too complex about that. Just a phone.


If its confirmed to be an original, this thing is gonna be sold for $500.000 in 30 years, and some seller from ebay who got $1500 in 2013 will put himself out of his misery.


Since it was an item never intended for sale, it is considered stolen property and Apple still is the rightful owner of it.

Apple has the legal right to swoop in if they want and reclaim it at any time... and occasionally have in the past on such items.
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago
Is it just me, or does it look nicer than the actual original one?

----------

Because, you know, Darwin is not based on Linux or anything like that :roll eyes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_(operating_system) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_(operating_system))


It's not. It's based ultimately on UNIX. Linux is based on UNIX, but that does not mean that iOS is based on Linux.
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago

Specifically BSD (Berkeley)... Whereas IIRC most Linux distros (aside from BSD, obviously) are derived from the AT&T branch of the family tree...


BSD is not a Linux distro.
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago

seriously? Are you one of those guys that has owned every mac or apple device, including Pippin, since 1973 (or was it '68...I can't remember now), but are now moving to android because apple doesn't innovate any more? That shtick is getting a bit old. WTF would they use Linux when they already have the best kernel and scalability?


According to insider info (http://daringfireball.net/2008/11/executive_scuttlebutt), some executives at Apple did push for Linux.

You owe him an apology not only for your ignorance about that, but also for warping his simple comment into some wild anti-Apple fantasy of your own making.
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago

They also considered basing it on Linux, which is what Android is built around.


i think it was in the Steve Jobs book he cites they were trying w/ the iPod OS and OS X but that OS X won out. i couldn't find anything cited about Linux, but John Gruber has a source who seems to back that up:

http://daringfireball.net/2008/11/executive_scuttlebutt

----------

Somebody got ripped off. Does this prototype even function?


you miss the point of a collector item. hint: it isn't to make phone calls.

----------

Because, you know, Darwin is not based on Linux or anything like that :roll eyes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_(operating_system) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_(operating_system))


Darwin is in no way based on Linux. Linux and Darwin are each POSIX-compliant operating systems based on two different kernels.

----------


It's not. It's based ultimately on UNIX. Linux is based on UNIX, but that does not mean that iOS is based on Linux.


this. i dont understand how enthusiasts on an uber-geek website like MR would not understand this concept.
Rating: 2 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]