Highest bid: Apple's unboxed first-gen iPhone auctioned for $63,356

The phone, which remained in its original packaging since 2007, was auctioned for 100 times its original sale prices.
Ameya Paleja
Steve Jobs holding iPhone
Steve Jobs holding iPhone

David Paul Morris/Getty 

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world at the Macworld conference in January 2007, he called it "revolutionary". 16 years later, one of the pieces of the first-generation iPhone has now been auctioned for $63,356, more than 100 times the original sale price.

The iPhone needs no introduction and has sold more than 2.2 billion handsets so far. While this includes users who have owned multiple iPhones during the last 15 years, some users have never used one. Last year, one such iPhone was sold for $39,000. This time around, it has shattered the record by a mile.

Auctioning the first-generation iPhone

In comparison to the features on the iPhones available today, the first-generation iPhone seems much like a nothing phone. What Jobs called revolutionary back then boasts a 3.5-inch screen with a two-megapixel camera and storage options of 4GB or 8 GB. The phone only supported GPRS and EDGE-based internet connectivity.

In comparison, the latest model available today, the iPhone 14, sports a 6.1-inch screen with 12 MP cameras on the front and the rear and options to store up to 512 GB of data. In addition to supporting 5G technology for data connections, the phone can also tap into satellites to contact emergency services.

Yet, a 16-year-old unboxed first-generation iPhone beat the latest model handsomely at a recently concluded auction. The unboxed iPhone belonged to Karen Green, a cosmetic tattoo artist in New Jersey who was gifted the phone in 2007. Back then, Green had a Verizon contract for her mobile services and Apple had an exclusive arrangement with AT&T. So, she never opened the box and the $599 phone stayed with her.

Highest bid: Apple's unboxed first-gen iPhone auctioned for $63,356
The winning bid for the first generation iPhone

Green had previously considered selling the phone on multiple occasions, but when the news of the $39,000 auction of the first-generation iPhone broke out, Green reached out to LCG Auctions to see if she could benefit as well.

LCG listed her phone on its website, and the auction went live on February 2. The auction began at a base price of $2,500 but was expected to fetch around $50,000. Green, who was looking to put that money into her cosmetic tattoo studio, was pleasantly surprised when the auction ended on February 19 with the highest bid of $63, 356.40, more than 100 times the phone's original price.

Steve Jobs must be very proud of his creation.

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