How much would you pay for a piece of Apple’s history? For some hardcore collectors, the answer to that question is just shy of $20,000.
A factory sealed, original generation iPod has surfaced in an eBay listing on Thursday. For a bit of context, the device inside was first released 18 years ago. The seller describes the iPod as in its “unopened original box” and “unopened original shrink wrap.”
Suffice to say, original iPods in this condition are extremely rare. That’s why the listing’s Buy It Now asking price is $19,995. It’s worth noting that that’s roughly 50 times more than the original price point of $399 when the portable music player first debuted.
But for serious Apple collectors looking to own a piece of the Cupertino tech giant’s history, such a device is probably worth every penny.
The first-generation iPod was famously unveiled by Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs back in October 2001. The device featured a 5GB hard drive and a two-inch grayscale LCD screen. If you need proof that 2001 was a different era, just consider that the original iPod had a FireWire port and that its bulky .75-inch frame was actually fairly thin.
But, at the time, Jobs’ pitch of “1,000 songs in your pocket” was nothing short of revolutionary. Even if most people at the time were unaware that they were witnessing tech history.
The O.G. iPod was an amazing device in the early aughts, but its legacy doesn’t stop there. Beyond disrupting the music industry and inspiring a new era portable consumer devices, the original iPod was one of the most important precursors of the iPhone. In other words, it changed everything.
Even if spending $20K on a legacy device seems outlandish to you, there is undoubtedly someone out there who will buy this iPod for its asking price. Around five years ago, a similarly unopened iPod sold for about $20,000. Back in 2016, a limited edition U2-themed iPad fetched nearly $90,000 on eBay.
In other words, if you have an unopened Apple product lying around, you may want to leave it that way for a couple of decades and check back in.
While the iPod’s 18-year-old legacy is undeniable, the music player has largely lost its luster in favor of other devices in the Apple lineup. But there are still rumors that a refreshed iPod touch is on the way.