At the end of June, another sealed original iPhone came up for auction. However, this time around, it was a very rare model, the 4GB version of the smartphone that was only produced for a couple of months. After starting the auction with an estimated value of up to $100,000, this iPhone has blown past the world record, selling for a whopping $158,000.
We’ve seen a lot of sealed original iPhones go up for auction in the last year. But after a record was set in February at $63,000, demand and prices died down over the last few months.
As the original iPhone mania seemed to have peak, one in April went for just over $18,000 – a $45,000 drop from the February auction.
Despite that, LCG Auctions estimated that the first release 4GB sealed original iPhone would sell for between $50,000-$100,000. Bidding started at $10,000 for the rare 4GB model on June 30 and up until yesterday, the highest bid was just under $42,000.
But in the final day and hours of the auction, the demand was intense with bidding jumping from $67,000 all the way up to $158,644. That’s 250% more than the $63,000 February record for the rare 4GB original iPhone.
And compared to the original $499 price of the 4GB model, that’s roughly a 318x increase in value over the last 16 years.
Notably, this rare iPhone came from a former Apple engineer that worked on the smartphone. Here’s how LCG Auction described the condition of this 4GB sealed original iPhone:
Our offering is an exceedingly rare, factory sealed, first-release 4GB model in exceptional condition. Virtually flawless along the surface and edges, the factory seal is clean with correct seam details and tightness. Labels on the reverse are correctly pristine beneath the seal. Outstanding color and gloss. Brand new, never activated. The phone’s provenance is pristine as the consignor was part of the original engineering team at Apple when the iPhone first launched. Collectors and investors would be hard pressed to find a superior example. Relevance and rarity comprise a winning formula for this red-hot collectible. Model A1203, Order MA501LL/A 4GB)
And it is indeed the 4GB distinction for this rare original iPhone that’s made the difference in the selling price. Also in this lot was another 8GB sealed original iPhone that went for just $44,771.
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