Alleged Prototype of First-Generation iPhone Goes For $1499 on eBay

Alleged Prototype of First-Generation iPhone Goes For $1499 on eBay

An alleged prototype of a first-generation iPhone has been sold on eBay for $1499. The device appears to be in excellent condition, “apart from a very tiny mark in the back,”¬†and was shown in photos running Apple’s internal diagnostic software.


eBay, via MacRumors:

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.

The authenticity of the device has not been confirmed, and the signal strength etchings found on the device haven’t been seen on other prototypes. However, the device does lack the standard regulatory text usually found on the rear casings of non-prototype units.


A Reddit user has claimed to be the buyer of the device, but has not yet received delivery of the device.

While prototype Apple devices have appeared on eBay in the past, many have been quickly removed, allegedly at the request of Apple. This auction reached an end in only two days, via a “Buy It Now” purchase, well ahead of the auction’s deadline, so it may have flown under Apple’s radar.