iPhone prototypes hit eBay


A pair of claimed early iPhone prototypes found thir way to eBay and will fetch more than $1,000. Currently at $940 after 45 bids, the double pack is described as rare and collectible, though only one of the two works.

The phone that works is pretty neat to use. It does make calls(with my ATT sim), and I can surf the net. However when I did get to web pages they were the mobile versions, not the regular versions. I can't figure out how to set a ringtone, it is just silent right now. I can receive SMS but not compose my own, other than 5 included test messages. It doesn't sync to itunes. Camera seems to work. It has tons of testing options.

Such relics normally get me excited, but these don't carry much energy. To me, they just look like broken iPhones running broken software.

Auction [eBay]

Early iPhone prototype listed on eBay [iLounge]

Angebliche iPhone-Prototypen bei Ebay [Update] [ifun]]

Published by Rob Beschizza

Follow Rob @beschizza on Twitter.

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  1. Interesting. Looks like the hardware and software development didn’t actually overlap very much, if the pairing of mature unit and extremely early software build are anything to go by.

    I suppose it could alternatively just be an early build of the software flashed onto a production unit, though.

  2. It’s up to a couple grand with a day to go. I have to wonder just what the legal basis of owning this is. Apple can’t have sold or given away prototypes that were not to final spec. No responsible company lets incomplete products get out into the wild like that.

  3. Although I can’t find it right now, I distinctly remember seeing this user interface before, and it was billed as the test harness firmware that is loaded during hardware manufacturing. That’s why you can run tests on the individual components, and the main menu has green checkmarks next to some functions.

    Before packaging, the final firmware is uploaded, so customers never get to see this one. If I’m remembering correctly, some customer about a year ago received this firmware with his iPhone, took a couple of images, and then used iTunes to install the proper one.

  4. #3: if that’s true then what are the odds that the working one is just a production with the testing firmware…

  5. The Apple I know and love would not allow the auction to proceed if the items were indeed legitimate.

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