Original Apple iPhone sells for $63,356 at auction

First generation Apple iPhone in its original box with 2-megapixel camera and innovative touch screen that changed the smartphone industry forever sells for $63,356 at auction 16 years after it was first released

  • The 8GB phone was sold yesterday by auction house LCG and received 27 bids
  • Owner Karen Green took it on a show in 2019 where it was valued at $5,000 

A first-generation Apple iPhone in its original box has sold for $63,356 at auction – almost 16 years after it was first released.  

The 8 GB phone, owned by tattoo artist Karen Green, had been expected to fetch around $50,000 – but the final figure reached almost 106 times the original asking price of $599. 

LCG Auctions described it as a a ‘highly-desirable factory sealed first generation original Apple iPhone from 2007’.

The sought-after technology had a starting bid of $2,500 but, 27 bids later, surpassed all expectations to fetch $63,356 yesterday.      

The first iPhone, referred to unofficially as the ‘iPhone 1’ or ‘iPhone 2G’, came with either 4, 8 or 16 GB of storage and a 2 megapixel camera.

A first-generation Apple iPhone in its original box has sold for $63,356 at auction – almost 16 years after it was first released

Karen Green (left) originally took her phone on the programme Doctor and the Diva, where it was estimated it was worth $5,000

This is a far cry from the 1 TB of storage and 48 megapixel camera offered by the latest iPhone 14 Pro.

Tech fans can purchase the latest iPhone for £1,099 or up to £1,749 for more storage and a larger screen. 

Karen had originally taken her prized phone on Doctor and the Diva’s ‘Treasure Hunt Tuesday’ in 2019, where expert Dr Lori estimated its worth to be $5,000. 

On the show Karen revealed that the almost 16-year-old phone had been given to her by friends when she started a new job.

As she had just bought a new phone herself, she never opened it and a couple of years later she was told that it could be valuable to a collector. 

She said: ‘I figured: it’s an iPhone! It will never go out of date!’ 

But never in her wildest dreams did Karen expect to receive over $60k for the former gift as the $5k estimate alone on the show left her feeling ‘overwhelmed’. 

She was also told that the original sealed packaging meant that she could expect to receive 10 to 25 per cent more than if she had opened the phone. The fact it was 8 GB, rather than 4 GB, also increased its value. 

The original iPhone (left) came with a limited number of apps compared to the latest iPhone 14 (right)


The Apple iPhone was first introduced by the late Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007 at MacWorld San Francisco

The shows’ presenters took a light-hearted dig at the fact Karen had not put the expensive present to good use, as they joked: ‘What kind of friend are you, Karen?’ and ‘Karen, your friends want their phone back!’

The shows’ presenters took a light-hearted dig at the fact Karen had not put the expensive present to good use, as they joked: ‘What kind of friend are you, Karen?’ and ‘Karen, your friends want their phone back!’ 

Ms Green plans to use the proceeds of the auction to help with the costs of running her new cosmetic tattoo studio, in New Jersey. 

Original iPhones have become a much-desirable collectors’ item and can expect to fetch even higher sums in the future. 


Name: iPhone            

Display size: 3.5 inches

Mass: 135 g

Rear camera quality: 2.0 MP

Storage: 4 GB, 8 GB or 16 GB                

Original retail price:  £269 / $599

First generation iPhone 

Name: iPhone 14 Pro

Display size: 6.1 inches

Mass: 206 g 

Rear camera quality: 48 MP

Storage: 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, or 1 TB

Original retail price:  £1,099 / 999

iPhone 14 Pro

LCG said: ‘There’s little doubt that interest in culturally relevant collectibles is rapidly increasing, and despite the impressive sales numbers, many believe the space is still in its infancy.’ 

The Apple iPhone was first introduced by the late Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007 at MacWorld San Francisco. 

‘We’re going to make some history together today,’ he said alongside the slogan ‘Apple reinvents the phone’. 

The phone was named Time Magazine’s invention of the year in 2007 and forever changed the industry. 

It became Apple’s most successful product, selling over 6.1 million units worldwide.

Since its release, it garnered fierce competition from other tech giants like Google and Samsung, who were desperate to replicate its success.

The iPhone remains one of the world’s most popular brands of smartphone, but has changed its look since the first model was released.

The original iPhone still had a headphone jack, home button and large borders around its relatively tiny 3.5-inch display.

But for the time it had an innovative touchscreen, a 2-megapixel camera, and a web browser. 

It also pre-dated the front-facing ‘selfie’ camera, and had only a single lens on the rear.

In terms of functionality, the iPhone could not use 3G to access the internet or copy and paste, but its lack of any sort of keyboard changed mobile phones forever.

The original home screen had 12 icons – plus four more in the dock – with original designs. Icons such as the ‘iPod’ have now been replaced by Apple Music.  

First release iPhones have previously sold within the $30,000 limit – as they are seen as an impressive blue-chip investment among collectors. 

In October another factory-sealed iPhone 1 sold at auction for $39,000.   

And it’s not just the iPhones themselves that can attract a hefty sum. Founder Steve Job’s ‘well-used’ Birkenstock sandals sold for $218,750 in December. 


1976: Founders Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne created the company on April 1 1976 as they set about selling computer kits to hobbyists, each of which was built by Wozniak.

The first product was the Apple I. 

1977: Apple released the Apple II in June, which was the first PC made for the mass market. 

Steve Jobs unveils Apple Computer Corporation’s new Macintosh February 6, 1984 in California.

1981: Jobs became chairman.  

1984: The Macintosh was introduced during an ad break for the Super Bowl and later officially unveiled during a launch event. It was discontinued a year later and Jobs left the firm.

1987: Apple released the Macintosh II, the first colour Mac.

1997: Apple announces it will acquire NeXT software in a $400 million deal that involves Jobs returning to Apple as interim CEO. He officially took the role in 2000.  

The then Chief Executive Officer of Apple, Steve Jobs, with the iPhone

2001: Apple introduced iTunes, OS X and the first-generation iPod.

The first iPod MP3 music player was released on October 23, 2001, at an event in Cupertino and was able to hold up to 1,000 songs.

2007: Apple unveils the iPhone. 

2010: The first iPad was unveiled.

2011: Jobs resigned in 2011 due to illness, handing the CEO title to Tim Cook. Job died in October from pancreatic cancer.

2014: Apple unveiled the Apple Watch. It also unveiled its first larger iPhones – the 6 and 6 Plus. 

2015: After purchasing Beats from Dr Dre, Apple launched Apple Music to compete with Spotify and other music streaming services. 

2016: Apple returned to its roots and announced the 4-inch iPhone SE. Meanwhile, the firm is embroiled in a legal battle with the FBI, involving the agency demanding access to the locked phone used by Syed Farook, who died in a shootout after carrying out a deadly December attack in San Bernardino, California with his wife. The court order was dropped on March 28 after the FBI said a third party was able to unlock the device.  

2017: Apple introduces the iPhone X, which removes the home button to make way for a futuristic edge-to-edge screen design and a new FaceID system that uses advanced sensors and lasers to unlock phones with just the owner’s face.    

Apple CEO Steve Jobs speaks at an Apple event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

2018: In a first for the company, Apple introduces new features in its latest operating system, iOS 12, that encourage users to manage and spend less time on their devices. The move was spawned by a strongly worded letter from shareholders that urged the firm to address the growing problem of smartphone addiction among kids and teenagers. 

2019: In January, Apple reports its first decline in revenues and profits in a decade. CEO Tim Cook partly blamed steep declines in revenue from China.

2020: In March, Apple closes all its bricks and mortar retail stores outside of China in response to coronavirus. 

2021: In an online virtual event in April CEO Tim Cook declared Apple’s goal of becoming carbon neutral for Earth Day. Later in the year the iPhone 13 was announced. 

2022: In September the iPhone 14 was announced. One of the new features included a new sensor to detect if a user had been in a car crash as well as an improved camera system. 

2023: So far this year Apple has brought back its ‘Home Pod’ after the first generation was discontinued. The ‘Home Pod’ can be seen as an alternative to Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home as it is powered by voice commands. 

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