Someone Bought A 16-Year-Old iPhone For Over $190,000

Hey, quick question: If you had a spare $200,000 laying around in your bank account, what would you spend it on? You’d probably spend it on a house, or maybe a new car (several new cars?). What you probably wouldn’t do is drop that kind of cash on a 16-year-old iPhone. But that’s what happened over the weekend.

The original iPhone was released all the way back in June 2007. At the time, Apple released two versions of what would become its most successful product ever: a 4GB storage model that cost $499 and an 8GB model that cost $599. And it’s that 4GB model that has become a bit of a collector’s item. This is because back in 2007 the 4GB version sold more slowly than its 8GB counterpart. Most people just paid the extra $100 to double the phone’s storage, and as a result, Apple discontinued the 4GB version just two months after its release, in September 2007. So there weren’t nearly as many of them out in the wild, and even fewer remained sealed in their boxes. That (sort of) explains why a sealed, mint condition iPhone 4GB from 2007 just sold at auction for $190,372.80.

As reported by TweakTown on July 16, the supposedly very rare iPhone 4GB was sold to an unknown buyer on for nearly $200k.

LCG Auctions’ item description suggests that the old Apple phone is the “Holy Grail” among phone collectors. The phone up for auction was still factory sealed in its original box, and apparently in “exceptional condition.” LCGAuctions claimed the consignor was part of the original engineering team at Apple during the iPhone launch, possibly explaining how they got their hands on such a rare device and why they never opened it.

Other iPhones have sold for similarly high prices

This isn’t the first iPhone to sell for a large sum of money at auction. LCGAuctions cites a few other Apple devices that have, over the preceding nine months, sold for hard-to-believe prices, including two factory-sealed 8GB iPhones from the same era. One sold in October of last year for $39,339, and another hit $63,356 this past February. And yet another one of these old, original, and still-sealed iPhones sold this year for $40,000, bought (and opened) by YouTuber Marques Brownlee. 

Marques Brownlee

What’s happening here? Well, some have suggested that many of these big-ticket auctions involving old tech, video games, and collectibles are part of some kind of money-laundering or price-fixing shenanigans. For example, some believe that video game auctions involving sealed copies of Nintendo games going for tens of thousands of dollars are part of some alleged racket involving item graders, auction houses, and rich clients. All companies involved have denied the claims, however, and there’s no direct evidence that suggests these recent iPhone auctions are part of some larger conspiracy or otherwise tied to illicit activities.

Regardless of what’s going on, if you want an old iPhone or other collectible tech item, you should probably buy it now before prices get even higher in the future. Maybe it’ll pay for your kid’s college, or the AI apps that they’ll need to compete in the 2040s job market or something.

Apple Wants Its New iPhone To Be Your Next Gaming Device

An iPhone shows Resident Evil 4 on screen.

Screenshot: Apple / Capcom / Kotaku

On September 12, Apple held an event showing off its entire line of iPhone 15 devices, including the iPhone 15 Pro, which features a USB-C port (thanks, Europe) and the ability to run modern AAA games like Death Stranding and the remake of Resident Evil 4. Apple predictably touted the news as the “next generation of mobile gaming” and while that remains to be seen, seeing such technically demanding games running on such a small device is undeniably impressive.

Apple’s latest iPhone Pro will hit stores on September 22. And Resident Evil Village, Resident Evil 4, and Death Stranding are expected to arrive on the device later this year. Surprisingly, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, the next entry in the long-running stabby-stab-stab series, will also land on the iPhone, just a little later than its October 5 release on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC. For now, it seems these games only run on the Pro and Pro Max versions of the iPhone 15. It’s an impressive feat, particularly in the case of Assassin’s Creed Mirage, which is a brand new, fully fledged AAA title. During its event, Apple explained a bit about its new chip and how it expects modern games to run on the handheld device.

According to Apple, the Pro’s new A16 Bionic chip sports a five-core GPU that sees a 50% improvement in memory bandwidth, as well as a six-core CPU, which Apple touted as using 20% less power than the previous phone’s processor.

Apple / The Verge

And believe it or not, Apple also touted the ability for its devices to feature “hardware-accelerated ray tracing,” a cutting-edge lighting technique that usually requires pretty demanding hardware such a high-powered gaming PC to pull off reliably. Yeah, you can read that a second time if you need to. Much like the games themselves, we’ll be eager to see just how well this feature actually performs on the device. It’s easy to be skeptical about all of this, and many on X (formerly Twitter) are raising concerns about things like just how long the device’s battery will last while running these demanding games.

The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will start at $999 and $1199 respectively. You can also give Apple 70 bucks for a damn USB-C cable if you’re so inclined.

Buy the iPhone 15 Pro: Best Buy
Buy the iPhone 15 Pro Max: Best Buy

Resident Evil 4 Remake Will Cost $60 On iPhone

The Resident Evil 4 remake costs $60 for its iPhone 15 Pro port, as much as is charged for standard console editions.

There are ways to justify spending $60 in the App Store, where pre-orders for RE4 are currently live. You could call it spending $60 to play a great survival horror game on a tiny, but supposedly high-power console that also shows you TikToks. (The Pro has a five-core GPU and the “fastest mobile” six-core CPU, Apple says.) An iPhone can also show you the 50 texts you’ve yet to respond to. And, according to Tom’s Guide, the Pro has a battery life of just under 11 hours. Hm.

If you’re as skeptical as I am about playing an intense shooter on a handheld device that’s busy with a thousand other things, you could always download a free version of the game to see how it feels. According to the App Store listing, “Resident Evil 4 is free to download and play, or you can get the full version with a single [$60] in-app purchase and sync your game progress across [iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, and iPads containing an M1 or later chip].”

“On iPhone and iPad,” the game’s App Store description continues, “you can adjust the size, intensity and display time of the buttons on your onscreen touch controller. Or if a physical game controller is more your style, you can play with one that’s compatible with iPhone or iPad.” The $999 iPhone 15 Pro has a USB-C port; Apple is selling $70 cables for it.

Many mobile games and ports are free, like the great Marvel Snap, or Fortnite. In this context, Resident Evil 4’s $60 price tag feels shocking. (Though the game’s microtransactions are nowhere near as ubiquitous as those in something like free-to-play Genshin Impact.)

However, it seems like Apple wants their latest devices to become everything to you—a black box for communication, entertainment, and more. In this sense, $60 makes sense, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see future iPhone ports, including the one for the forthcoming Assassin’s Creed Mirage, to be priced similarly. It’s a serious price for what Apple considers a serious console.

Read More: Apple Wants Its New iPhone To Be Your Next Gaming Device
Buy Resident Evil 4: Apple App Store

Developer Capcom’s 2021 mutant game Resident Evil Village will also arrive on iPhone and iPad later this year, on October 30. You can currently buy it for $30 on Mac. Or you can buy Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 on PlayStation 2 for $15, up to you.


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