16 years later, a 4GB Apple iPhone is set to auction for $100,000 or more

There is value in not opening a brand-new phone, but only if it is an iPhone.
Ameya Paleja
The 4GB iPhone expected to break sale records
The 4GB iPhone expected to break sale records

LCG Auction 

16 years after its launch, a 4 gigabytes (GB) variant of the first-generation iPhone is expected to fetch 100,000 dollars ($) at an upcoming auction, Business Insider reported. The phone belongs to a member who was a member of the engineering team at Apple when the device was launched and retains its factory packaging.

First-generation iPhones are the recent craze at auction blocks these days, with an 8GB variant being sold for a whopping $63,356 in February this year. This is way more than what it cost to buy the phone in the first place, but it also awards the owner for not using the phone for so many years.

Prior to the record price sale, another iPhone was sold for nearly $40,000 at the same auction house. This has started a trend where iPhone owners have approached the auction house to know if their phone also qualifies to be a part of a record auction, and this is how they encountered the rare find, a 4GB iPhone.

How rare is the 4GB iPhone?

Exactly 16 years ago, Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone, and the world was awestruck. Apple made the phone with a 3.5-inch screen and 2-megapixel camera available in two variants, 4GB and 8GB.

Back then, this was immense storage space, but like any phone buyer would do today, people preferred paying a little extra for higher storage capacity. The 4GB variant was not favored, and Apple replaced it with a 16GB variant that became the top choice.

With the rising popularity of iPhones, more 16GB variants became available in the market, and the 4GB ones became rare. According to the auction house, a 4GB variant is 20 times rarer than an 8GB iPhone.

The $100,000 glass ceiling

Buoyed by the numbers it has clocked at previous auctions of iPhones, the auction house is confident that the 4GB variant will set a new record. When bids open later today (June 30), it has set a floor price of $10,000 for the piece. It estimates that the phone could easily fetch between $50,000 and $100,000 and would not be surprised if it establishes a new record price.

The auction is scheduled to run till July 16, and only after then will we know if the phone will match expectations. Needless to say, the Apple iPhone is an iconic piece of technology and commands the world's attention even today, just as it did back in Jobs' hands in 2007.

More than six million first-generation iPhones were sold after it was released, but perhaps only a handful of pieces still lie neatly packed in boxes, just the way they left the factory. The high auction prices are for not only leaving them so but also preserving them for so many years.

However, the same cannot be said of any other phone that came before or after the first iPhone and includes other iPhones. The one sold in this black packaging changed the world of phones forever, and that does not have a price tag.

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