Alleged Original iPhone Prototype Pops Up On eBay For $1,499

iphoneprotoAn eBay seller says his wife is making him part ways with some of the stuff he’s collected over the years, which is why he’s listed what he claims is an engineering prototype of the original Apple iPhone for sale for $1,499.

“These were used to test the iPhone’s various features,” reads the product description on the eBay page. “To do so, a special test software was installed, which is still running on the device perfectly.”

He points to the signal strength values etched into the device’s rear plating as evidence that this is a bona fide Apple article.

“I am collecting Apple products for ages and I know of only 5 such devices in existence,” he writes. “I saw another one a few weeks back on eBay, but the auction was stopped (possibly by Apple ).”

He even takes a jab at the infamous incident involving the iPhone 4 prototype that was lost at a bar and then sold to Gizmodo, saying about the original prototypes, “These come from a time, where prototypes were not ‘lost’ in bars or pubs.”

Because it still running the original testing operating system and not anything resembling the current version of iOS, the seller makes it clear that this is not a phone you can use to make calls with.

“It is a pure collectors item,” he explains, justifying the 4-digit price tag, which is more than seven times what you’d pay for a brand new iPhone 5S with a 2-year contract, and about twice what you’d pay for a new, unlocked 32GB iPhone 5S.

We just wonder if an armed robber would see the resale value in the prototype or if he’d treat it like a clunky old LG Quantum.

[via LA Times]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.