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Sealed original iPhone sold for record-breaking $63,000 at auction

Published Feb 21st, 2023 10:09AM EST
First generation iPhone
Image: LCG Auctions

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Three weeks ago, BGR reported an original and still unopened first-generation iPhone was going for auction. The owner expected to fetch at least $50,000, but she got a record-breaking $63,356 at the auction, making this the highest sale ever for an original iPhone.

The first-generation iPhone was sold for $52,797 at LCG Auctions this Sunday with an additional 20% buyer’s premium fee, bringing the sale to over $60,000. Cosmetic tattoo artist Karen Green owned the smartphone. To Business Insider, she said she got the iPhone as a present from her friends in 2007.

Since, at the time, she was a Verizon user, and the first-generation iPhone required an AT&T account, she decided to keep the smartphone in a sealed box and put it on a self “wrapped in a pair of felt pajamas for extra storage.”

The only reason she decided to sell the first-generation iPhone this time, which features a 3.5-inch screen, a 2-megapixel camera, and up to 8GB of storage, was because she wanted to use this money in her tattoo studio.

To the publication, she said she thought about selling the unopened first-generation iPhone several times, but since prices continued to increase, she decided to wait a bit more. 

“It took me almost a year to get it up and running, and when you don’t have an income for a year because you don’t have a place to work and you’re trying to get out on your own, your resources start to go,” she said. “If I could hold off on the phone for like another 10 years, I probably would,” she said. “The only reason why I am selling that phone is because I need to support this business’.”

While bids started at $2,500, she was able to get 100 times more than the iPhone’s original price. By the end of the day, Green was right, as waiting made her iPhone auction a record-breaker.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.

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