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Steve Jobs iPhone

From Dust to Gold: Forgotten iPhone Fetches $93,000 at Auction


From dust collector to treasure trove, a forgotten first-generation iPhone has fetched a whopping USD$63,356 (AU$92,824) at a recent auction by LCG. Talk about an epic comeback story. According to Business Insider, the device’s original owner received it as a gift back in 2007 but never bothered to unbox it because, well, AT&T was the only game in town back then. Fast forward to 2022, and that unopened iPhone turned out to be a goldmine, selling for over 105 times its original retail price. Let this be a lesson to us all: never underestimate the value of a good old-fashioned hoard.

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Lcg auctions iphone 1

Image: LCG Auctions

Believe it or not, the iPhone was still completely sealed, untouched and unused by its previous owner, Karen Green. We’re talking about a rare piece of tech history. In fact, Green even made an appearance on Doctor & The Diva back in 2019, where a value of USD$5,000 was placed on this rare gem. But she wasn’t quite ready to part with it yet, and boy oh boy, did that decision pay off.

Fast forward to 2022, and a similar listing sold for a whopping USD$39,339.60 on another auction site, making Green even more eager to cash in on her lucky find. With tens of thousands of dollars being bid for such a rare and famous piece of tech, it’s no surprise that there were a couple of instances of bidding wars for the factory-sealed iPhone.

The bidding frenzy began on February 2, with a list price of a measly USD$2,500. But by February 4, the bidding had already reached USD$10,000. As the end date drew closer, the amounts rose fiercely, with USD$20,000 surpassed on February 18, and the USD$30,000, USD$40,000, and USD$50,000 lines crossed the next day. The winning bid for this immaculate iPhone 1 was a whopping USD$63,356.40, posted by a private bidder.

Perhaps what made this particular iPhone so valuable was that it was the 8 GB variant, initially launched for USD$599, while the 4 GB model was priced at USD$499. In addition to that, the 2007 first-generation iPhone came with a Samsung ARM-based SoC that could manage a clock rate of 412 MHz and a generous 128 MB of storage space. The main camera equipment on the rear was made up of a sole 2 MP sensor and the display offered a 320×480 resolution and was a 3.5-inch LCD panel.

Now, let’s put things into perspective. The first iPhone was a success for Apple in terms of sales, with over 6.1 million units shipped, which is no small feat. But that pales in comparison to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus from 2014, which are two of the best-selling smartphones ever with a whopping 222.4 million combined sales.

All in all, this is a story of luck, patience, and a little bit of history. Who knew that a piece of tech from 2007 could be worth tens of thousands of dollars in 2022? It just goes to show that you should never underestimate the power of nostalgia and the value of a rare find. So, what are you waiting for? Check those old drawers and see if you have any gems lying around. Who knows, you might just strike gold like Karen Green did.

Check it out

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