It sold for $599 in 2007. A decade and a half later, a first-generation iPhone with 8 gigabytes of storage, still wrapped in plastic, is thought to be worth up to $60,000. Its among the lots offered by Chicago's Wright Auctions in a Thursday sale, beginning at 12pm ET, though interested parties will need to dig deep in their pockets. The starting bid on the unopened Apple product is $32,000, the New York Times reports. The auction house believes the phone could sell for nearly twice that amount, with an estimate range of $40,000 to $60,000, though there are indications it could top even that.
The phone isn't valuable because of what it can do—it's "incompatible with Apple's latest operating system," for one thing—but what it represents, per the Times. As Wright Auctions President Richard Wright tells the outlet, "There are so few tangible design objects that just change everything. This is that tangible object." This iPhone was a gift to a high-profile New Yorker who works in finance soon after its June 2007 release, according to appraiser Donald Gajadhar.
That recipient was too attached to his Motorola Razr phone to give it a try, Gajadhar tells the Times. "He loved the Razr like it was a Star Trek communicator ... and he was really not into social media. He used it for calls, not apps." Prospective buyers are reassured that there is indeed an iPhone in the box thanks to X-ray images shared by the auction house. Another unopened 2007 iPhone sold for a record $63,000 last month, but this one is "rarer than most with a unique Apple 'Lucky you' sticker on the sealed box," per 9to5 Mac, which also describes a small tear in the shrink wrap. (Read more iPhone stories.)