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Prototype iPhone 4 listed for sale on eBay

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
A prototype version of Apple's iPhone 4, based on test hardware built before the device went into mass production, has appeared for sale on eBay [updated].

Update: The device originally listed has since been pulled from eBay. However, another model listed as a "genuine prototype" and with a white paint job is also available.

The new listing from seller "jtmaxo" was set to expire on July 11. The posting referred to the device as a "prototype," and notes that the serial number written on it is not valid when entered on Apple's website.

The device has "DF1692" etched in the bottom right corner. According to This is my next, that unique code is meant to allow Apple to keep track of what prototype hardware belongs to a certain employee.

"We're hearing through the grapevine that this particular unit has hardware similar to Gizmodo's prototype last year -- not identical to the retail version internally, though we don't know exactly what has changed," the report said.

It was a different prototype iPhone 4 that was obtained and shown off last April. Gizmodo got their hands on the hardware after a third party obtained the pre-release device at a California bar.



That unit was being tested by an Apple software engineer, and the device was encased in a plastic case intended to disguise it and make it look like a previous-generation iPhone 3GS. The source of the latest prototype posted on eBay is unknown.

The seller said that the phone has some signs of wear, and it will not activate via iTunes with the AT&T network when plugged into a computer. iTunes presents an error suggesting that the user visit their nearest AT&T or Apple retail store.



On the back side, the model number, FCC ID storage and other information displayed on the prototype iPhone are replaced with Xs. The volume buttons also do not have the usual "+" and "-" symbols, though the rest of the device has a similar external appearance to the final iPhone 4 that was eventually released last June.
post #2 of 29
It's up to a million bucks already!

EDIT: OK, wait... A few hours later, and It's down to $1,755.99 now... I don't get it.
post #3 of 29
Why do people still perceive eBay as a credible place to shop?
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post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by city View Post

Why do people still perceive eBay as a credible place to shop?

Well, I've actually had good luck with eBay. Also, if you pay via PayPal, your purchase is pretty much guaranteed. That being said, every purchase is not perfect and you have to know what you're doing and investigate the seller before closing the deal. A good seller will allow refunds if the item is defective or not what was expected.
post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by city View Post

Why do people still perceive eBay as a credible place to shop?

Because as long as your PayPal protection is a larger amount of money than your bid, it is a credible place to shop.

Cue "Jason Chen selling his prototype to pay for legal fees" jokes.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #6 of 29
I'm calling BS. There is no reasonable way to confirm this, and since the serial number has been disclosed, if it was real, Apple Legal would already have tracked down the leak, closed the auction, and done god only knows what horrible thing to the leaker.
post #7 of 29
I suspect whoever is selling the iPhone is not the owner and Apple will eventually chime in. Stand by for lawyers after the holiday.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesehed View Post

Well, I've actually had good luck with eBay. Also, if you pay via PayPal, your purchase is pretty much guaranteed. That being said, every purchase is not perfect and you have to know what you're doing and investigate the seller before closing the deal. A good seller will allow refunds if the item is defective or not what was expected.

So I can assume that someone is willing, able and ready to pay the million dollars?
For just buying something eBay is probably okay. When bidding for a serious or household auction item you never know if the other bid(s) are shill bid(s), intended to uncover your maximum bid. It's too easy to disguise who you are and too difficult to trace who you're bidding against. A smart seller could get away with it over and over. The eBay penalty might be a few days suspension if caught.
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post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by city

The eBay penalty might be a few days suspension if caught.

Or you might end up with a fine.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/05/ebay_shill/

I'm not sure why anyone would even want a prototype iPhone 4. Don't they know they can get a brand new one? A prototype iPhone 5 I would understand.
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Or you might end up with a fine.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/05/ebay_shill/

I'm not sure why anyone would even want a prototype iPhone 4. Don't they know they can get a brand new one? A prototype iPhone 5 I would understand.

The same reason stamp collectors often pay more for stamps that were misprinted and withdrawn, rarity.
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Or you might end up with a fine.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/05/ebay_shill/

I'm not sure why anyone would even want a prototype iPhone 4. Don't they know they can get a brand new one? A prototype iPhone 5 I would understand.

I agree. The desire to spend that kind of money for this is, at its core, idolatry. Idolatry is not a good thing.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Or you might end up with a fine.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/05/ebay_shill/

I'm not sure why anyone would even want a prototype iPhone 4. Don't they know they can get a brand new one? A prototype iPhone 5 I would understand.

If it was signed by Steve J. it might worth something... but in the long run, as the guys on Pawn Stars would say, I got nothing for you.
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post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

If it was signed by Steve J. it might worth something... but in the long run, as the guys on Pawn Stars would say, I got nothing for you.

I think it would be pretty cool to have
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

Idolatry is not a good thing.

Who are you, Moses or somebody?

People like to collect things. Many people like to collect and keep Mac related items. It's not surprising that collectors would want to get their paws on an Apple prototype.
post #15 of 29
holly shit, its already a million dollars
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by vachi View Post

holly shit, its already a million dollars

It's not really a holy shit, because that's obviously a fake bid. Any ass can go to ebay and bid a million dollars for whatever item.
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post

I think it would be pretty cool to have

I want a prototype iPhone 1... with Steve's signature on it!
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post #18 of 29
Why would someone pay money for a bricked iPhone?

Please update the AppleInsider app to function in landscape mode.

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Please update the AppleInsider app to function in landscape mode.

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post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

I want a prototype iPhone 1... with Steve's signature on it!

I want a prototype of the tablet they made in aught four that ran full OS X that Steve rejected because it was pointless.

I also want a prototype of the tablet that they made later that Steve said, "We could make a phone out of this!" about.

THOSE would be worth quite a bit.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Or you might end up with a fine.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/05/ebay_shill/

...

The seller may not had been caught if he didn't sell a "clocked minibus", using the same contact details and IP address for the shill activity isn't smart either. In any case, I'm glad to see eBay is on the case and hopefully they can detect the smarter shills given all the money they are spending on the problem.

Now the price is $1,725. Bids were retracted!
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post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Why would someone pay money for a bricked iPhone?

Collectors and people who have the money to pay for one? I doubt that somebody is looking to buy a prototype to actually make phone calls with it or to use it. If that was their objective, they could simply head on down to their nearest Apple store and get a brand new phone.

Like Alexander Graham Bell's phone, the iPhone is a piece of history.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by city View Post

The seller may not had been caught if he didn't sell a "clocked minibus", using the same contact details and IP address for the shill activity isn't smart either. In any case, I'm glad to see eBay is on the case and hopefully they can detect the smarter shills given all the money they are spending on the problem.

Now the price is $1,725. Bids were retracted!

Phew... I was just going to bid $1,902,160,540...
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post #23 of 29
It's a engineers phone..

I've seen multiple devices like this..Few of my apple friends have devices like this.

Of course they take good care of it because apple tracks that number.
White Nexus 7 8GB
Black & Slate iPhone 5 32GB AT&T
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White Nexus 7 8GB
Black & Slate iPhone 5 32GB AT&T
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post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

I want a prototype iPhone 1... with Steve's signature on it!

Having an original iPhone 1 prototype would be so much more valuable since that's the phone that really changed everything being signed by Steve would just be icing on the cake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I want a prototype of the tablet they made in aught four that ran full OS X that Steve rejected because it was pointless.

I also want a prototype of the tablet that they made later that Steve said, "We could make a phone out of this!" about.

THOSE would be worth quite a bit.

Any Apple prototype of an unreleased tested product would be absolutely priceless. I'd love to see all of their prototype products that never made it to production one day...
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

I'd love to see all of their prototype products that never made it to production one day...

Unreleased Apple Products

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28bQw...el_video_title

post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Phew... I was just going to bid $1,902,160,540...

All bids have been cancelled. It's $98. Let's form a consortium-"Rockster"!
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post #27 of 29
The auction has now been cancelled.
"I'd rather have a sound judgment than a talent." -Mark Twain
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"I'd rather have a sound judgment than a talent." -Mark Twain
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post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by willmtaylor View Post

The auction has now been cancelled.

Yep, its easy to get Ebay to pull an auction like this, juts raise a case stating that it infringes on industrial secrets etc and they pull it.

Same with auctions for iOS beta access places.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Yep, its easy to get Ebay to pull an auction like this, juts raise a case stating that it infringes on industrial secrets etc and they pull it.

Same with auctions for iOS beta access places.



lol, you can get legit access to iOS betas for 99 bucks.
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