Early iPhone prototype listed on eBay [update] | iLounge News

Early iPhone prototype listed on eBay [update]


An early iPhone prototype has made its way onto eBay, complete with a rough beta version of iPhone OS and a second, non-functional unit. The working prototype is said to be in good cosmetic condition, and interestingly features a matte plastic screen as opposed to the glass screen found in production units. Its serial number is YM649xxxxxx, which the seller claims corresponds to a factory in China, manufactured week 49 of the year 2006, and it runs iPhone OS 03.06.01_G — the iPhone launched running OS 1.0, version 03.11.02_G. The seller claims the phone can make calls, browse the mobile versions of websites, and can receive SMS, but lacks any way to manually type an SMS on the phone. The non-working prototype has a glass screen, a slightly higher serial number, and is described as being in “fair” cosmetic condition, with various scratches. The two units are currently up to $300; it is unknown how long the auction will remain up, following Apple’s recent action to get an early prototype iPod removed from the auction house. [via iFun.de]

Update: The listing is no longer available. It is unclear whether the auction was pulled by eBay or by the seller.

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Why do you think it’s an apple prototype, and not a prototype of counterfeit iPhone?

The operating system looks NOTHING like the iPhone OS…..
And you beleive a couple of weeks before the annouccement of the iphone they hadn’t started using a beta of the OS (or some of the icons…..C’mon! Are u serious?

This is a factor in China mocking up a rip-off…

Posted by kmsx on March 9, 2009 at 5:36 PM (CDT)


Because of this.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on March 9, 2009 at 6:16 PM (CDT)


Do you have any cache or screenshot of the iPod prototype?  I’m usually a constant visitor here, but don’t remember hearing about that.  Did it look like the 1st Gen. iPod or something different?  What made the prototype so special?


Posted by Brianbobcat on March 9, 2009 at 7:56 PM (CDT)


I remember hearing a while ago that the hardware and software teams were kept isolated from each other during much of the development process. This seems to be complete hardware with mockup software, and I’m sure the software guys had complete software with mockup hardware.

Posted by niteice on March 9, 2009 at 9:03 PM (CDT)


This supposed iPhone Prototype is a fake! It’s simple really…look closely at the picture of the screen when the “iPhone Prototype has it’s internet browser open, in the lower left hand corner of the screen it says “AT&T;”. Even at the official unveiling of the iPhone at Mac World in 2007 the screen said “cingular”. I am sure that the very early iPhone OS depicted in it’s development stage in the pictures would have said “cingular” not AT&T;as the deal for At&t;to purchase Cingular had not even completed until 3 months after the iPhone was officially introduced.

Posted by moonman on March 9, 2009 at 9:06 PM (CDT)



The prototype is displaying the name the tower is giving it, which is “AT&T;”.

Posted by Dakota on March 9, 2009 at 9:08 PM (CDT)


Hello all, this is my auction.  These phones are indeed real.  They are the hardware testing units used to test different hardware configurations(hence the matte screen). 

I obtained these phones from a bulk electronics reseller out of Texas.  They purchased a lot of iPhones and these two were mixed in.  I don’t know their origins beyond that.

Posted by billions_of_money on March 9, 2009 at 10:16 PM (CDT)


Okay you do have to take everything with a grain of salt, especially on ebay.  However, there maybe some genuineness to this.  I can easily explain the ATT logo.  Perhaps this phone is not locked to anything and will connect with whatever SIM card is inserted, and the seller could have easily just photographed this phone recently with an ATT sim card inserted.  Nobody said these were pics of it from back in 2006.

Posted by Greg on March 9, 2009 at 11:57 PM (CDT)


It’s widely known, that the people at Apple’s hardware unit didn’t saw the real iPhone OS. And the people developing the OS didn’t saw the real hardware.

Posted by Jan on March 10, 2009 at 5:28 AM (CDT)


Oops - I just viewed the item and as soon as I tried to enlarge the picture, eBay took the item down. :(  Apple strikes?

Posted by Gene on March 10, 2009 at 1:25 PM (CDT)


I wishes I didn’t saw your post, Jan.

Posted by Landrix on May 30, 2009 at 4:41 AM (CDT)

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