An incredibly rare iPhone has just gone up for auction, and it could be a record-breaker

Image of Steve Jobs holding the first iPhone
Steve Jobs introduces the iPhone (Image credit: Apple)

In the 17 years since it launched, the original iPhone has become something of a collector’s item, with sealed models frequently selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now, another one is about to go up for auction, and it could well break records when its final price is decided.

As per reporting from 9to5Mac, an original 4GB iPhone model from 2007 – still sealed in its plastic wrapping – is about to go under the hammer at LCG Auctions. Bidding started at $10,000 (and sits at $11,000 at the time of writing), with the auction house estimating its final price could land somewhere north of $100,000.

That’s a little short of the record for this model – that stands at $190,373 for an iPhone that was sold in July 2023 – but is still a huge return on a device that cost $499 when it was first released. Bidding closes at 5PM EST on March 24, so we’ll have to see if it can smash the previous record in that time. Ultimately, there’s one very good reason why it might be able to do just that.

A sought-after collector’s item

An original 4GB iPhone sealed in its packaging.

(Image credit: LCG Auctions)

A first-edition iPhone still in its original packaging is an attractive object for any collector due to the device’s historical provenance. The first iPhone completely revolutionized the smartphone industry, leading to a wave of imitators and signalling the downfall of previously powerful rivals like BlackBerry and Nokia. It’s undoubtedly one of the best phones ever, and there are a lot of people who would like to get their hands on a piece of history like that.

But the iPhone that is up for auction at the moment has another thing going in its favor: it has 4GB of storage. This configuration was only sold for two months before Apple discontinued it and dropped the price of the larger 8GB version. That makes it a very rare model to get your hands on – a fact that no doubt contributed to the price of the previous record-breaking auction.

LCG Auctions describes the 4GB edition as the “Holy Grail amongst iPhone collectors.” It is in an excellent state with very few imperfections, something that could lead to it fetching a high price when the auction ends.

That said, a new record valuation is not guaranteed, as another 4GB model sold for $133,435 a few months after the $190,000 model went up for auction. But even so, this particular iPhone is likely to attract a sky-high price from a keen collector – it’s just a matter of time until we find out exactly how much they’re willing to pay.

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Alex Blake
Freelance Contributor

Alex Blake has been fooling around with computers since the early 1990s, and since that time he's learned a thing or two about tech. No more than two things, though. That's all his brain can hold. As well as TechRadar, Alex writes for iMore, Digital Trends and Creative Bloq, among others. He was previously commissioning editor at MacFormat magazine. That means he mostly covers the world of Apple and its latest products, but also Windows, computer peripherals, mobile apps, and much more beyond. When not writing, you can find him hiking the English countryside and gaming on his PC.