Apple’s upcoming $3,499 Vision Pro “spatial computing” headset may feel a bit pricey, but that’s pocket change compared to a $200,000 iPhone that sold at LCG Auction on July 17. A mint condition, factory sealed, first generation 4GB iPhone auctioned on Monday for a jaw-dropping $190,372.80—over 317 times the device’s original price tag back in 2007.
The record-shattering winning amount came in well over LCG Auction’s estimated $50,000-to-$100,000 selling point after beating out 27 previous auction bid raises. As Business Insider notes, the iPhone’s sale is over double the amount forked over for a similar, mint condition 8GB iPhone back in February. In October 2022, another unopened 8 GB first-gen iPhone went for a still staggering $39,339.60.
First announced by Steve Jobs in January 2007 at MacWorld San Francisco, the original iPhone hit stores that June in both 4GB and 8GB versions for $499/$599. At the time, the groundbreaking smartphone boasted a then-revolutionary full-color touchscreen interface, web browsing capabilities, a 2 megapixel camera, along with the introduction of app-based programs.
According to LCG Auctions’ item description, part of the first-gen 4GB iPhone’s rarity is owed to initial lagging sales numbers for the model. Given the option, first-time buyers largely opted to pony up the extra $100 for double the storage space, resulting in Apple’s decision to discontinue the 4G variant on September 5, 2007—barely two months after its debut. In this particular case, the factory-sealed iPhone belonged to one of Apple’s own engineering team members.
The iPhone is now widely considered one of the most revolutionary consumer products to hit store shelves, with over 1 billion owners of some iteration of the gadget’s 14 and counting generations. Despite a plethora of smartphone options these days, Apple’s line still composes roughly 65 percent of the US market share as of 2021, and over 16 percent of the global industry. Over the years, iPhones have unsurprisingly become pocket-sized powerhouses… not to mention pricier: Apple’s current top-tier option, a 1TB iPhone 14 Pro Max, currently runs for $1,499.
In the meantime, Apple certainly knows its estimated $3 trillion worth. Earlier this year, news broke that the company remains committed to attempting to globally trademark even the most basic images of an apple, often at the potential expense of unsuspecting companies and nonprofits. Unfortunately, even an iPhone costing well over $190,000 won’t cover those kinds of legal fees.