Rare 4GB sealed original iPhone up for grabs, will it break the $190k record?

Earlier in the year we saw a rise and fall of sealed original iPhone auction prices. But then in July, a very rare 4GB model tripled the all-time record going for a whopping $190,000. Now another one of the elusive 4GB sealed original iPhones is up for grabs – could it cross the $200,000 threshold?

As a refresher, the reason the 4GB original iPhone is more valuable than the more common 8GB version is that Apple only made the smaller capacity model for two months so there are very few of them that are unopened.

The auction record for an 8GB sealed original iPhone is at $63,000, one-third of what the 4GB variant sold for this past summer.

Now with the new 4GB sealed original iPhone that’s available, RR Auction has a very modest price estimate of “$20,000+” which it’s almost hit in the first hours of the auction. It will be interesting to see how high it goes!

Bidding is open until September 23 for this 4GB iPhone.

Steve Jobs signed check and iPad

Also included in the auction is a Steve Jobs signed original iPad and an early Apple check from 1976 also signed by Jobs.

Extraordinary Apple Computer Company check, 6 x 3, filled out and signed by Jobs, “steven jobs,” payable to Graphics West for $33.92, July 9, 1976. Headed “Apple Computer Company,” the check uses Apple’s first official address at “770 Welch Rd., Ste. 154, Palo Alto”—the location of an answering service and mail drop that they used while still operating out of the famous Jobs family garage. In very fine condition.

And there’s a neat story behind how Steve gave the signed iPad to Hawaiian dentist Frank Sayre who’s selling it:

My name is Frank Sayre and I am a retired dentist in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. I have lived and practiced here since 1975. In August of 1997 my 25 year-old son was hiking alone in one of the large valleys at the North end of the Island of Hawaii, (also known as the Big Island). The trail was carved into the side of the cliff that was the valley wall. As he was alone, no one knows what happened, but he fell off the ledge and landed about 600 feet below. He was killed in the fall. Without getting into details, my wife and I were alerted to his whereabouts by the police department and we were at the trailhead at first light the following morning. We hiked about two miles back in to the back of the valley and were later joined by the search and rescue team of the Hawaii Fire Department. We watched as they attempted multiple times to get down to him. After about 7 hours of trying they were able to lower two men on a cable beneath a helicopter and eventually recovered his body. Later we wanted to do something to recognize those men who risked their own lives to recover him, but there was no existing way to do that. So we formed the Daniel Sayre Memorial Foundation and began a series of annual awards dinners to help make the public aware of how these men and women go above and beyond the call of duty. Then we became acutely aware of how poorly equipped the HD was because of the County’s meager budget, and the awards dinner also became a fundraiser.

Sometime in the spring of 2010 I received a call at the office from a dentist in the Bay Area. He said that he had heard about me and asked if I could see one of his patients who was in pain and was vacationing over here. I told him that I could, but that I was booked up and that I’d need to bring him in at the end of the day. He said that that would work even better as his patient was a, “high profile”, individual and would rather be in the office when there weren’t a lot of people around. Then he asked if I wanted to know who it was, I said, “sure” and he said that it was Steve Jobs. Steve arrived along with his wife and we diagnosed his problem. While we were waiting for him to get numb he noticed a number of documents and photos on the walls of some of the Foundation events and awards. He asked about them and we explained it all to him. We then successfully treated his problem. As he was getting ready to leave he wanted to pay for the treatment.
We explained that we had a policy that we never charged out of town visitors for any emergency treatment. They were our, “Aloha Patients”. He laughed and said that I was an excellent dentist, but that I was a “lousy business man”. He then asked if there was anything that he could do for us.

Having no idea about his attitude about autographing things, I said that we have a silent auction at our fundraiser and we would really appreciate it if he could donate a signed iPad. He said, “of course”, and we chatted for a little while and they left. Some months went by and I never heard anything from him, but didn’t think much about it as they were on their way to Japan after they left Hawaii. Still not knowing about his position on autographing, I sent a letter to him along with a check for the cost of the iPad – $729. I heard back from his secretary, LaNita Burkhead, who returned my check and said that Steve wanted the iPad to be a gift, and sent the iPad. I have that letter.

At the event in September we decided to take the top 3 bidders at the silent auction and pit them against each other in a live auction during dinner. I was trying to bid up the price and was one of those top 3. During the live auction one of the bidders dropped out and it was just one other guy and myself and, again, I was trying to push the price up.
Someone in the audience yelled out, “C’mon, let the Doc have it”, and the other guy dropped out and I ended up with it.

I’ve kept it and the letter and the original box it came in and the original power cord in the safe since then. I’m now 80 years old and feel that it’s time to pass it along to someone else to appreciate and at the same time supplement my fixed income and maybe my wife and I can travel a bit while we’re still healthy.

I know that this is a long story, but it’s actually the condensed version. Steve Levine said that you wanted to know the details and I hope that this suffices. If there’s anything else you’d like to know please feel free to give me a call.

Mahalo piha,
Frank H. Sayre, DDS

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