You can now get your hands on an (alleged) prototype first-generation iPhone

A supposed first-generation iPhone prototype has been listed on eBay - with the current bid sitting at a whopping $12,300 (roughly £9,931 or AU$16,845).

According to the seller, the device is a pre-production iPhone 2G prototype and runs an early version of iOS (iPhone OS, back then) that was specifically designed to test the phone’s hardware functions - it even has special test software installed. 

Though the device is used and has ‘some sign of cosmetic wear’, it is apparently fully operational with Bluetooth, WiFi, and each of the original iPhone's four supported GSM bands are accounted for.

We cannot verify this prototype is the real deal - and the seller doesn’t specify where he obtained the item - but the handset has an etched label which refers to it as ‘Ver 1.1.1.’  

Take a look below:

Image credit: 321dady via eBay

Image credit: 321dady via eBay

Spot the difference

Here are the differences between the first-generation iPhone and the prototype (according to the seller):

  • Apple engineer sticker which says Ver 1.1.1 
  • Running multiple testing software, including abnormal OS X and Earthbound
  • Used by Apple for testing the original iPhone
  • Circa 2006 - before the original iPhone release date (mid 2007)
  • Different weight - much heavier at 144.5g (iPhone 2G is 135g)
  • No FCC etchings at the back
  • Bell icon for the mute button
  • Completely different internals - including different battery and WiFi
  • Hand made in Cupertino, California, not China

Why would you buy it?

Code-named ‘Project Purple’, iPhone prototypes are extremely rare to find - only a few are known to exist. Though owning one would not be practically useful, it would be a pretty cool collector’s item. But we reiterate - there’s no proof this is the real thing just yet. 

  • If you’re more into modern technology, check out all the news from IFA 2018
Vic Hood
Associate Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.