When Karen Green got a new job in 2007, some of her friends pitched in to buy her a new iPhone. And while hundreds of thousands of Americans clamored to get their hands on the first version of Apple’s revolutionary smartphone, Green wasn’t one of them, partly because he’d upgraded to his new (non-smartphone) phone not long before, and partly because he didn’t he wanted to change his carrier from Verizon to AT&T. “I didn’t want to get rid of my new (non-smart) phone, and I thought an iPhone would never be obsolete,” Green told a TV show. Green kept the first-generation 8-gigabyte phone sealed in the box, realizing that over the years a collector might find it valuable. Her hunch was confirmed when appraisers estimated his value at $5,000. But the results of an online auction shattered all expectations not long ago, when Green’s iPhone sold for $63,356.40, worth more than 100 times its original cost and more than any previous iPhone. Louisiana-based auction house LCG Auctions, an expert in pop culture collectibles, described the phone as an attractive item for collectors and investors alike. It is “presented beautifully, showcasing sharp corners on the front and back, rich colors and ‘fresh’ features”, including the “iconic” frame with a life-size image of an iPhone with 12 icons on its touchscreen.
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