Ten years ago, people were lining up to buy the very first generation of Apple's (AAPL) new product, the iPhone. Initially priced at $599 for an 8GB model, the device was more expensive than most other phones on the market, but the novel touchscreen, capacity for music and inclusion of the Safari web browser made the hefty fee worth it for many.
Now, a decade later, the price has actually climbed even higher for a 1st generation iPhone because of its collectible value -- as long it's new and unopened. Currently, the product that was first released to the public on June 29, 2007 is selling for $4,000 on eBay unopened and in its original packaging. Other sellers on eBay are offering brand new 1st-gen iPhones for around the same price.
While the original iPhone is considered "obsolete" by Apple (the company will not service 1st-generation iPhones in its stores), it has vintage value and should be perfectly functional, according to an Apple customer service representative.
The first iteration of the iPhone is smaller but thicker than the ones we carry around today, and lacks both 3G service and the App Store -- two additions that would make the next generation of the iPhone really take off. It is only available with AT&T (T) as the carrier, as all iPhones were until 2011.
If the $4,000 price point is too high, eBay sellers are also offering several used 1st-gen iPhones, ranging in price from $29.99 (if you don't mind a few cracks) to $999.99. The value of these phones could well appreciate over time, as long as they are kept in good condition -- after all, there may be no device more definitive of the 21st century so far than the iPhone.
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Editors' pick: Originally published June 28.