Auction for one-of-a-kind USB-C iPhone closes at $86,001

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,667   +1,129
Staff member
What just happened? The auction for that USB-C iPhone closed yesterday and the winner made off with it using the tried-and-true method of bidding one dollar over the high bid in the last seconds. The auction closed at $86,001. Is a USB-C iPhone really worth that much?

A black iPhone X that went up for auction on November 1 has sold for $86,001 on eBay. As we reported last week, the phone was modified to support USB-C and had generated 170 bids in four days, with offers reaching $99,900 by November 4.

Six retractions brought the winning bid back down to $86,000, where it remained for several days. Then someone offered $86,001 in the last seconds of the auction, winning the phone.

The value of the iPhone X is dubious on its surface. The engineering student, Ken Pillonel, who did the modification, warned buyers not to restore, update, or erase the iPhone. So essentially, it's like buying someone else's phone and never being allowed to make it your own.

The only things that set it apart from a typical iPhone are that it has a USB-C port instead of a Lighting connection and that it is a one-of-a-kind item. Whoever is shelling out $86,000 for it likely wants to tear it apart to figure out how to make a knock-off device.

Apple's flagship phone has seen outrageous prices in the past. Usually, they are unique custom jobs like the iPhone 3G Kings Button ($2.5 million) or the iPhone 4s Elite Gold ($9.4 million). However, scalpers saw bids as high as $60,000 on eBay for standard iPhone X pre-orders in 2017.

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Posts: 76   +77
Two things come to mind: when I bid on stuff, the higher the price, the higher the minimum increment when bidding. How can they add 1 buck over 86k and for me when the bid is at 100, I need to bid 105 to register?

On point though - were I a company or law firm looking to sue Apple, for, say, anti-competitive behaviour for using a proprietary connector when USB C is fine, or a class action for forcing buyers to get expensive cables/chargers when standard C would do, this phone is exhibit A: Your honour, AAPL's arguments are nonsense - the USB-C Iphone connects, the connector packages fine, it's waterproof, it's perfect. The only issue with it is that the phone can't be updated, as then Apple would detect the mods and brick it.


Posts: 525   +544
That's the upgrade everybody is waiting on iPhone. Not the frigging 17 new cameras lenses which offer nothing new than 13 older ones. Send efing Lighting into dustbin of history where it belongs.

Whoever bought it obviously has no concept of earning money like the average person. 90k for a proof of concept and no software upgrades. Nuts!


Posts: 4,680   +2,659
  • You will not restore, update, or erase this iPhone
  • You will not use it as your daily phone
  • You will not open it

I know people will buy anything, but those stipulations are HEAVY!