What appears to be an iPhone 6 prototype popped up yesterday on eBay, and the current bid has already reached $7,100 (£4,865). [See updates below.] The seller, who describes the phone as “vintage,” said they bought it from a friend. It appears to be missing an FCC logo, serial number, and IMEI number:
The seller added:
From what I know it runs a debugging OS called SwitchBoard and features a red lightning dock port with a serial number of C39NW00KG876.
According to 9to5Mac, SwitchBoard, a type of internal Apple software, is much easier to hack than stock iOS, and devices with it installed “fetch insanely high prices”.
Indeed, there’s a good chance this one will go higher: In 2014, another alleged prototype was on the market for $86,000 (£59,000). However, it turns out that it wasn’t a real prototype, just an unfinished phone. It was later sold for $11,000 (£7,500).
Similarly, this latest prototype may not even be a prototype at all, although Apple will want probably to sniff around anyway. But hey, if you have the cash on hand, why not? Just don’t leave it in a bar.
Update 1: As expected, the prices have now skyrocketed. The bidding is now up to $13,600 (£9,320).
Update 2: We’re now up to $40,100 (£27,480).
Update 3: And now we’ve reached $50,100 (£34,333).