MKBHD paid $43,000 for a sealed first-gen iPhone to unbox on YouTube
The handset that started it allBy Shawn Knight 9 comments
In a nutshell: Factory sealed, first-generation iPhones have been commanding absurd amounts of money at auction as of late. Back in February, one such example sold for a record $63,356 – over 100x the amount the handset originally went for. You can be sure that most of these remaining first-gen iPhones will be tucked away in private collections for years to come… but not all of them.
Tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee recently shelled out nearly $43,000 ($32,000 plus taxes, shipping and fees) for a sealed 8GB iPhone. Rather than preserve the prized possession, he promptly unboxed it just as someone might have roughly 16 years ago.
Apple's first-gen iPhone was offered in 4GB and 8GB capacities, priced at $499 and $599, respectively. Both required a two-year contract through AT&T, the phone's exclusive carrier. Many were put off by the high price tag but in reality, other premium handsets like the Palm Treo were equally as expensive.
Unboxing the iPhone was a unique experience back in the day. The packaging felt premium but it was the phone and how far ahead of the competition it was that really made things unique. I was able to dig up a couple of old photos from my original unboxing, and everything looks the same as in MKBHD's video.
Fortunately for MKBHD, his purchase does appear to be new old stock (not a used phone repackaged and made to look new). All of the accessories you'd expect to find were there including the charging / data cable, a set of EarPods, a docking station and all of the phone's documentation. The shrink wrap on the outside of the box also looks to be of the right age. The retail box even came inside a large shipping crate to ensure safe delivery, but I guess you should expect that level of care when paying so much for a smartphone.
Conversely, he wasn't able to get past the iTunes boot screen due to the age of the software. What's more, it seems as if the original charging brick was defective as the phone wouldn't charge until he switched out the adapter.