Just how much is an Apple, Inc. (AAPL) prototype rich in potential competitive secrets and collector cachet worth? Apparently near $100K USD.
An eBay user “KimberlyK1018” is selling the rare find on eBay, Inc.’s (EBAY) auction site. She says Apple accidentally mailed the device to her instead of the 64 GB iPhone 6 she requested. The case is similar to the final design, but the first giveaway that this is no ordinary iPhone 6, is the red plastic around the lightning connector. It also appears there may be some sort of black button on the bottom face.
There’s also none of the normal markings indicating the device has been certified by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The device appears to be in root mode pre-release variant of iOS 8 or “true developer mode” as the seller dubs it. It features a variety of apps that are likely tools Apple uses for its prerelease testing. Among them are:
One of the apps appears to trigger some sort of toggle screen, in which individual sensors and inputs can be toggled on or off, checkbox style.
Currently the winning bid is $94,850 USD, with 181 bids submitted at the time this piece was written.
And there’s still three days to go on the auction. It’s possible Apple itself may bid to try to recover the device. And then there are the collectors, who would surely be eager to get such as a rarity.
Whoever gets it; someone at Apple is probably in trouble for this costly goof-up. The incident reminds us of the Aug. 2012 sale of an Xbox “Durango” prototype, an early build of the Xbox One from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT). That auction, though, only reached $20,000 USD.
[All Images Courtesy of eBay]
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