When we hear talk about “vintage” Apple products, we usually think of iPhones or Macs that have been phased out of service and can’t be used any longer. But you may not want to throw those away quite yet! Turns out, there’s another level of vintage where timeworn Apple products can become prized collectibles, especially if it was a model that heralded the beginning of a new tech age or innovation. And we’re not talking about just a few hundred bucks – some can go for thousands and thousands of dollars. Before you go digging in your drawers and closets, continue reading to browse some specific examples and how much they have sold for in the past.
1st Generation iPhone
The iPhone was a catalyst for enormous change in the mobile device market, a true disruptor that redefined how people thought about their phones – so it’s not totally surprising that the very first models sell for a lot as classic items. A 1st generation, 8GB (yeah, they were smaller back then) model in mint condition can sell for thousands of dollars on auction sites, and eBay even has the latest in-the-package models listed for $25,000! Even a used model may fetch a price many times over what it originally cost.
1st Generation iPod
The iPod “Classic” model has been discontinued, but like the iPhone, it also represents a key turning point, this time for the concept of MP3 players. 1st generation models in mint condition are also selling for thousands of dollars. One deal on eBay even offered three 1st gen iPods with the three different storage options (5GB, 10GB, and 20GB, back in the day) for $50,000! Used iPods from this time period are often auctioned for several hundred dollars.
2nd and 3rd Gen iPods
It turns out, people are also asking a whole lot for other early iPods. Factory-sealed versions of the 2nd gen iPods, for example, have gone for up to $20,000. Something like a 3rd gen iPod Shuffle has been listed at around $1,000. And as with other products, these asking prices have significantly increased in recent years (a trend that seemed to begin around Steve Job’s death but still continues).
Rewind the tape all the way back to the VHS days, and you’ll come across the Apple Lisa, a personal computer sold in 1983 as Apple was working to improve its consumer game. It’s often thought of as the first computer to offer a consumer-friendly GUI, or graphical user interface, with little icons to represent files and programs, etc. It was also Apple’s first attempt at making its own mouse. These Lisa’s have sold for over $50,000 to collectors in the past!
This was the very first Macintosh, the one that launched the long line of iMacs and MacBooks that we use today – and the computer famous for introducing Apple’s counter-culture advertising that worked so well during those early years. It’s a little bit of history that people are willing to pay for, with asking prices anywhere from $949 to $6,000. Interestingly, this is one expensive relic that may not always recoup its cost even if you sell it for thousands of dollars – as it originally sold for $2,500, an astronomical sum back in the mid-1980s.
The Apple-1 was the first computer Apple ever made, a model barely out of the prototype phase and released in 1973. Apple only sold it for around a year before discontinuing the model to focus on the improved Apple-2 (something current Apple users may find slightly familiar). A famous version of the Apple-1 once sold for more than $900,000 several years ago, making it easily the most expensive of Apple’s vintage products. That number was unusually high: Today, a signed version of an Apple-1 is only expected to go for around $500,000 at the most. Keep in mind that Apple-2 computers also do very well at auctions!