An image posted by eBay user kimberlyk1018 purports to show testing software on a prototype iPhone 6 model.

Image: eBay
By Rex Santus2014-10-06 15:24:45 UTC

What appears to be a rare iPhone 6 prototype is currently up for auction on eBay after Apple “mistakenly” sent it out, a customer claims. The highest current bid was $94,100 at the time of publishing.

According to one eBay seller, Apple “accidentally” sent her an early version of the iPhone 6 upon renewing her contract; so far, there are 166 bids on kimberlyk1018‘s product.

It’s unclear whether the item is indeed a rare prototype, but the eBay user insists it’s authentic. Prototypes sometimes leak out, but they can be traced back to the original person at Apple; this is a different situation entirely, and one we don’t believe has happened before.

“Apple does NOT let these phones out of their possession, yet I was accidentally sent one upon renewing my contract,” she wrote on in the eBay listing page. “As you can see from the photos, iOS8 has not been placed on this device, rather it is in the true developer mode.”

iOS 8 is not installed on the phone; the software differs from what you might see on a consumer-use iPhone. The iteration also includes a red charger port and comes with 64GB of storage, according to the seller. According to the revision history, it seems the listing was put up on Oct. 2.


Image: eBay

The lure of the phone is access to Apple’s testing software, which could include trade secrets.

Apple most likely wants to protect its proprietary information along with any information that may be hiding in the software, but it’s unclear whether the technology company will ask eBay to squash the auction. EBay’s terms of service state that the company will remove listings if they violate the law or one of their policies, or if the item’s rights owner (in this case, Apple) asked them to remove it. This can happen even if the item is genuine.

BONUS: Can an iPhone 6 Plus Fit In Your Pocket?

[embedded content]

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.