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A YouTuber bought a sealed first-gen iPhone for $42,000 – and opened it
Imagine if you never opened your first-gen iPhone...
Buying original, mint-condition hardware has been a favorite pastime of tech collectors for decades. Things like turntables, Walkmans, and weird overseas products that never made it into Western markets usually fill their shelves, but now it seems Apple’s iPhone is old enough to earn their attention, too – alongside a super-inflated price tag.
An untampered, factory-sealed, first-generation iPhone fetches a pretty penny these days, with one unit selling for a staggering $63,356 in February earlier this year. They don’t always go for that much, with a similar device selling at auction for $32,000 in March. Now, tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee (or MKBHD) has revealed he was the one who bought it, and has recorded himself opening up the package in a new video.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: A $42,000 iPhone
😳 YouTuber Marquees Brownlee bought an original iPhone for $42,991
💰 He purchased the collector’s item at an auction
📉 And promptly opened it, slashing it’s value
🤔 He’s pretty sure it’s legit
He’s initially fairly skeptical of the phone’s legitimacy, but after removing the seal from the 16-year-old box, opening it all up and rummaging about its contents, he comes away confident that the phone inside hasn’t been touched since it left the factory. It’s a neat find, although as he says in the video: “This brand-new, pristine iPhone is now worth dramatically less than what I paid for it. And that’s ok”.
Brownlee in total paid $32,991 for the item, with the extra $10,000 of his purchase going on a sales tax, bidding fees and shipping.
It’s a pretty substantial surcharge, but the auction house sure wasn’t messing around when sending it. The phone came packed in a thin layer of bubble wrap inside a plastic box, which was covered in more bubble wrap, squished into a layer of polystyrene, and packed in a cardboard box – which itself was placed between a couple more layers of polystyrene before everything was put into a large wooden crate.
Brownlee’s initial skepticism over the phone’s authenticity seems justified, as re-selling supposedly factory-sealed iPhones has turned into big business. Scammers will repackage an old, but very much used, iPhone in its original box, wrap it in shrink-wrap to factory standards, do what they can to hide the blemishes, and auction it to unsuspecting buyers in the hope of hitting the big bucks.
Apple’s flagship phone has already changed dramatically since it launched in 2007 and it might be about to change even more if the rumors of an iPhone Ultra prove true. Regardless, it’s still leading the industry and dominated last year’s list of top-selling smartphones.
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