first-generation iPhone has sold for almost $55,000 at auction, equivalent to roughly £44,800, as spotted by MacRumors.
This was more than $54,000 over the original $599 price tag of the device.
The iPhone was not sold on eBay, where a couple of cheeky bidders can radically raise the price beyond a realistic estimate, but by RR Auction. It sells high-value items such as hand-drawn manuscripts from composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach.
Your used iPhone, hidden in the back of a drawer, is not going to earn you the equivalent of a hefty house deposit, though. This listing was for a sealed original iPhone from 2007.
RR Auctions estimated its value at $20,000 (£16,321), but the bids tore past that figure.
As portion of the listing, RR Auctions says the seller was given an iPhone because they worked at Apple at the time, but already owned an iPhone. As such, this particular one was left factory sealed for the intervening 16 years.
First-generation iPhones on eBay acquire recently sold for around £100 or less, although the majority acquire serious issues such as damaged displays or non-functional Home buttons.
However, this is not the most expensive iPhone we’ve seen sold at auction, even in the last few months.
In February 2023, LCG Auctions sold another first-generation iPhone for $63,356 (£51,709). Owner Karen Green says her friends bought her the phone after starting a modern job, but that she had left it sealed as she had only recently bought a modern mobile.
The phone featured on an “Antiques Appraiser” slot in the US TV note Treasure Hunt Tuesday, where a supposed expert valued the sealed iPhone at $5,000.
An October 2022 iPhone sale also made headlines after the auction finished at $39,339 (£32,120), again held by LCG Auctions in the US.
However, these figures will seem small fry when compared with some of the sums achieved in video game auctions in the last few years.
In July 2021, a copy of Nintendo 64 game Super Mario 64 sold for £1.27 million, beating the previous record of £539,000 set earlier that year in an auction for a Super Mario Bros. game for the earlier NES console. The record would disappear on to be beaten again in August when a sealed copy of the same game sold for approximately £1.6 million.
These high-value auctions were held by Heritage Auctions in the US, and caused some controversy, with accusations of a conspiracy between Heritage and game condition grading outfit Wata, to inflate prices. The claims were denied by both parties.
Few of us will acquire sealed games from the 1980s and 1990s in the loft. But, if you execute acquire a retro games library sitting around, it could be worth seeing how much they fetch on eBay. Some are worth a small fortune even if they are well-used.