If you've got an OG iPhone in the attic, you might want to dig it out

Somebody's just successfully bid for the second most expensive iPhone of all time

Original sealed iPhone auction
(Image credit: RR Auction)

If you can spare the cash, it might be wise to buy two of any brand new Apple product: somebody's just sold a first generation iPhone in auction for a whopping $54,904. 

That's roughly £45,000. Not bad for a phone that cost the buyer $599 / £457. 

If the person who sold it were to use the cash to buy the iPhone 14 , they could buy 68 of them and still have change.

The phone sold in the auction was a genuine first-generation, early run iPhone: as the auctioneer noted, its sealed box didn't have the iTunes icon that was added after the initial launch. The seller, a former Apple employee, had bought the phone and apparently didn't realise that they'd get one free from Apple, so very sensibly they decided to keep one of the iPhones sealed until it was worth 91 times more than the original sticker price.

If you've got a spare OG iPhone kicking around, you could be sitting on a fortune. This isn't even the most expensive iPhone of all time: a previous auction went even higher.

Old Apple kit can mean big money 

Back in February, another first-generation iPhone sold for a whopping $63,356 – around £56,000 – at another auction. Once again the iPhone was still sealed in its original packaging; like other collectables, the moment an iPhone's packaging is opened its future value falls through the floor. 

Nobody's buying these devices to use them, of course. The first iPhone didn't have 3G, so even back in the day it was really slow; today in the US there aren't the 2G phone networks it was made for. And specs-wise it's safe to say that it isn't a patch on the best phones today: its 320x480 display and 2MP camera were okay back in the aughts but even the worst phones you can buy today have better specs than that.

Sixty thousand dollars for an iPhone is pretty impressive, but compared to some other Apple actions it's still quite a small sum. In 2014, Bonhams sold the Apple 1 that once lived in Steve Jobs' garage for $905,000 (about £740,000). 

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).