Earlier this year, we saw prices for original sealed iPhones rise and fall at auction. But then in July, a very rare 4GB model tripled the all-time record and went for a whopping $190,000. Now another of the elusive original sealed 4GB iPhones is up for sale – can it break the $200,000 threshold?
As a reminder, the reason the original 4GB iPhone is more valuable than the more common 8GB version is because Apple only released the lower capacity model for two months, so very few of them don’t open.
The auction record for an original sealed 8GB iPhone is $63,000, one-third of what the 4GB variant sold for last summer.
Now that a new, sealed, original 4GB iPhone is available, RR Auction has a very conservative $20,000 price estimate, almost reached in the early hours of the auction. It will be interesting to see how high he goes!
Bidding on this 4GB iPhone is open until September 23rd.
Steve Jobs signed a check and an iPad
Also up for auction are an original iPad signed by Steve Jobs and an early 1976 Apple receipt also signed by Jobs.
Apple Computer Company Emergency Check, 6 x 3, completed and signed by Jobs, “Steven Jobs”, payable to Graphics West in the amount of $33.92, July 9, 1976. The check, headed “Apple Computer Company”, lists Apple’s first official address as 770 Welch Road, Ste. 154, Palo Alto” – the location of the answering machine and mail collection point they used while still working in the famous Jobs family garage. In a very good condition.
And there’s an interesting story about how Steve gave a signed iPad to Hawaiian dentist Frank Sayre, who is selling it:
My name is Frank Sayre and I am a retired dentist from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. I have lived and practiced here since 1975. In August 1997, my 25-year-old son was walking alone in one of the large valleys on the northern tip of the island of Hawaii (also known as the Big Island). The path was cut into the side of the rock that was the wall of the valley. Since he was alone, no one knows what happened, but he fell off the ledge and landed about 600 feet below. He was killed in the fall. Without going into detail, my wife and I were alerted to his location at the police station, and the next morning at first light we were on the trail. We walked about two miles back into the valley and were later joined by a search and rescue team from the Hawaii Fire Department. We watched as they tried to get down to him several times. After about 7 hours of trying, they managed to lower the two men on a rope under the helicopter and eventually recover his body. Later we wanted to do something to show our gratitude to those men who risked their lives to bring him back, but there was no way to do it. So we formed the Daniel Sayre Memorial Fund and began a series of annual awards dinners to help the public learn about how these men and women go above and beyond the call of duty. We then became acutely aware of how poorly equipped HD was due to the district’s meager budget, and the awards dinner also became a fundraiser.
Sometime in the spring of 2010, a Bay Area dentist called my office. He said he had heard about me and asked if I could see one of his patients who was in pain and resting here. I told him I could, but I was busy and would have to bring him over at the end of the day. He said it would have worked even better because his patient was a person of “high rank” and would prefer to be in the office when there weren’t many people around. He then asked if I wanted to know who it was, I said sure and he said it was Steve Jobs. Steve arrived with his wife and we diagnosed his problem. While we were waiting for him to become numb, he noticed a number of documents and photographs on the walls of some of the events and awards of the Main City. He asked about them and we explained everything to him. We then successfully treated his problem. When he was about to leave, he wanted to pay for treatment.
We explained that we have a policy that we never charge out-of-town guests for emergency care. These were our “Aloha Patients.” He laughed and said I was a great dentist but a “lousy businessman.” He then asked if there was anything he could do for us.
Having no idea how he felt about autographs, I said that during our fundraiser we were holding a silent auction and we would really appreciate it if he could donate a signed iPad. He said sure, we talked a little and they left. Several months passed and I didn’t hear anything from him, but I didn’t think much about it since they were heading to Japan after leaving Hawaii. Not yet aware of his position on autographs, I sent him a letter along with a check for the cost of the iPad – $729. I heard back from his secretary, Lanita Burkhead, who returned the check to me and said that Steve wanted the iPad as a gift and sent the iPad. I have this letter.
At the September event, we decided to take the top three silent auction bidders and pit them against each other in a live dinner auction. I tried to raise the price and got into the top three. During the live auction, one of the bidders dropped out and it was just one other guy and myself, and again, I was trying to raise the price.
Someone in the audience shouted, “Come on, give it to Doc,” and the other guy dropped out, and I ended up getting it.
I have kept it, the letter, the original box it came in, and the original power cord in a safe since then. I’m 80 years old now and I feel like it’s time to pass it on to someone else to appreciate and at the same time supplement my fixed income and maybe my wife and I can travel a little while we’re still healthy.
I know it’s a long story, but this is actually the shortened version. Steve Levine said you’d like to know the details, and I hope that’s enough. If there is anything else you would like to know, please call me.
Frank H. Sayre, DDS