A sealed, first-generation iPhone from 2007 has sold for a record-breaking price of $63,356 (approx ₹52,00,000) at LCG Auctions in the US. The sale included a buyer’s premium fee of 20 per cent, bringing the total to over $60,000. The phone was sold to an anonymous buyer, marking the highest price ever paid for an original iPhone.
The iPhone was originally gifted to a cosmetic tattoo artist in New Jersey, Karen Green, after she landed a new job. However, as she was tied to a Verizon phone line, the original iPhone, which was only compatible with AT&T, remained unboxed. Green had considered selling the phone in the past but ultimately decided to hold on to it after hearing about another first-generation iPhone from 2007 that sold for nearly $40,000.
After getting in touch with LCG Auctions in October 2022, the phone was put up for auction from February 2 until February 19, 2023. Although bidding started at $2,500, the phone ended up selling for over 100 times its original price, surpassing the expected sale price of at least $50,000.
The first-generation iPhone was debuted by Steve Jobs 16 years ago in January at a Macworld conference in San Francisco. Apple sold the phone for $599 (approx. ₹47,920 today) and it was initially available with 4GB or 8GB of storage, a 2-megapixel camera, and a 3.5-inch screen.
This sale marks a significant milestone in the world of collectibles, particularly for technology enthusiasts. The sale of the sealed, first-generation iPhone has surpassed the previous record set by a similar device in 2021, which sold for $31,000.
According to experts, the recent surge in the value of collectable technology is attributed to the increasing demand for nostalgia and a renewed appreciation for classic gadgets. The high resale value of the first-generation iPhone is also due to its rarity, as most of these phones were either used or disposed of by their owners.
Although the phone is not functional, its value lies in its status as a pristine, unopened collector’s item. The condition of the packaging and the device itself played a crucial role in determining its value, as well as its historical significance as the first-ever iPhone.
This auction is a clear indication that the value of technology collectables is on the rise, with even the simplest gadgets such as the first-generation iPhone fetching significant sums of money. With the increasing popularity of the retro and vintage market, it will be interesting to see what other classic gadgets will emerge as highly sought-after collectables in the future.