It's rare that anyone ever gets to see Apple's prototypes, with the few that have ever emerged usually ending up on eBay and selling to the highest bidder.
That same scenario has happened again, but this time featuring Apple's latest iPhone 6.
This particular model doesn't appear to have been stolen out of a factory, but was instead reportedly discovered in its retail packaging after having been ordered through Verizon.
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|The markings below 'iPhone' are missing...|
If the current owner's claims are accurate, and the phone was indeed delivered as a regular order, it raises questions as to how a prototype model ended up in the customer supply chain rather than staying safe in a factory's prototype test area.
The supplied imagery also gives a rare end-user glimpse into Apple's test modes.
The phone's owner had decided to place the test iPhone on eBay and was set to pull the auction once it had reached US $3,500, but now says he is glad that he didn't as the eBay bidding has surged past the reported $90,000 mark to top over US $100,000
With over 2 days of bidding to go, the price will likely rise higher still, but whether any of the large bids are genuine, and whether the final bidder will pay up is all yet to be seen.
Finally, the entire episode reminds me of the days when stamp and coin collectors eagerly sought out stamps and currency with printing errors which could then become valuable collector's items.
With physical notes being threatened by the cashless society and snail mail being constantly usurped by email, technology with defects or unexpected 'features' like testing modes have become the new collectables, at least for those with plenty of cash to burn and a love of having extremely rare items.
We await the discovery of prototype iPhone 6 Plus models and Apple Watches, but as such events are rare, we might be waiting a very long time.
So, don't be expecting any surprises with your future technology purchases that could end up being unexpected pay days, but just like people who win the lotto, it does happen!
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|Right, said Fred, a red lighting port?!|