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Original iPhone now a collectible item, sells for $39,000


Someone did a good job keeping the unpacked iPhone in pristine condition for 15 years.

The phone in question is an 8GB iPhone released in 2007 when it was selling for $599. Kept in “exceptional condition” for all these years, the unpacked, factory-sealed iPhone went under the hammer at LCG Auctions and was sold for $39,339 on Sunday – 15 times more than the original bidding price of $2,500.

The highest bidder will get a historical relic of a smartphone described as a “red hot collectible” by the auction house. The phone attracted 28 bids in total.

LCG Auctions said in a description of an item that the package was “virtually flawless” with the clean factory seal and no aftermarket stickers or UPC labels. The phone itself is brand new and had never been never activated, it added.

“Collectors and investors would be hard pressed to find a superior example,” the description said, noting the historic relevance of the original iPhone as Apple’s most successful product that “forever changed the smartphone industry.”

Steve Jobs first introduced the original iPhone early in 2007. It had a touchscreen, a 2-megapixel camera, and a web browser. It sold for $499 for a model with 4GB storage and for $599 for an 8GB model.

In comparison, the base model of a recently released iPhone 14 has 128GB storage, features a 12-megapixel main camera, and sells for a starting price of $799 – which is similar to what the original, larger-storage iPhone cost when adjusted for inflation.

At the time, the pricing was controversial, with the then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer famously laughing it off as a mistake.

“Five hundred dollars? Fully subsidized? With a plan? I said that is the most expensive phone in the world. And it doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard,” he told CNBC shortly after Jobs unveiled plans for a smartphone.

Ballmer later admitted he was wrong. Apple went on to sell millions of iPhones. The rest is history.


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