Record Price For Engineer’s First Generation Apple iPhone

AT&T broadband phone 1999 Apple iPhone 2007

Unopened ‘holy grail’ Apple iPhone from 2007 belonging to original engineering team member, fetches record price at auction

An unopened Apple iPhone from 2007 has sold for a record price at auction in the United States – months after another original iPhone was sold for tens of thousands of dollars.

Auctioneer LCG Auctions posted that the factory sealed original 2007 Apple iPhone (first release 4GB) eventually sold for a staggering $190,372, far above its expectations of between $50,000 to $100,000, after it attracted 28 bids online pushing its value up.

This was much higher than the 8GB first-generation 2007 iPhone that had been sold in February this year for more than $63,000. Another unopened first-generation iPhone had sold for over $39,000 in a listing also by LCG Auctions in October 2022.

iphone hand © J. Henning Buchholz /

Online auction

The late Steve Jobs had launched the original iPhone at Apple’s annual Macworld expo San Francisco back in January 2007.

Steve Jobs opened his presentation with: “We’re going to make some history together today.”

When the first generation iPhone went on sale on 29 June of that year, the 4GB version cost $499 and $599 for the 8GB version.

LCG Auctions dubbed the original 4GB model as a “Holy Grail” amongst iPhone collectors, due to its limited production run.

While the 4GB version was launched for retail in June 2007, alongside the 8GB version, it experienced slow sales as buyers opted to pay the extra $100 for the 8GB version.

The lagging sales of the 4GB resulted in Apple making the decision to discontinue the 4GB model on 5th September 2007, just over two months after it was first released.

“Our offering is an exceedingly rare, factory sealed, first-release 4GB model in exceptional condition,” said the auctioneer. “Virtually flawless along the surface and edges, the factory seal is clean with correct seam details and tightness. Labels on the reverse are correctly pristine beneath the seal. Outstanding colour and gloss. Brand new, never activated.”

And it seems that the provenance of this original iPhone “is pristine as the consignor was part of the original engineering team at Apple when the iPhone first launched.”

Original specs

The first generation Apple iPhone came with a 3.5-inch screen coupled with a 2-megapixel camera.

As mentioned above, there was a choice of 4GB and 8GB storage options, coupled with 2G compatibility.

When it launched in 2007, the Apple iPhone ran exclusively on AT&T’s network in the United States, whereas in the UK it was only available on O2’s network.

Apple has sold an estimated 2.32 billion iPhones since its original launch back in 2007.