iPhone 4 prototype hits eBay; bidding hits $100k

Got $100,001 to spare and a taste for Apple history? An iPhone 4 prototype has shown up on eBay, reportedly of similar ilk to the original leaked handset back in early 2010, and bidding has already skyrocketed to a somewhat unbelievable $100k.

According to the seller, who claims to be a cellphone repair engineer, the iPhone was bought from a dissatisfied owner "who really didn't know who [sic] he had" and was frustrated because there was no way to activate it via iTunes. According to a check through Apple's database, it is indeed listed as a prototype, and it has the tester code DF1692 etched onto the front panel.

Other differences between the prototype and shipping iPhone 4 units include an absence of volume key labels and various X's where the FCC ID and model number would normally be found on the rear. The screen is fully functional, but since it's locked in activation mode there's not a huge amount you could do with it.

There are seven and a half days left for the auction still to run, though we can't quite believe that anyone is willing to pay $100,000 for even this particular prototype; we're guessing it'll be re-listed sometime soon after. Whether that will give Apple the opportunity to hunt down tester DF1692 and ask some difficult questions about what happened to his prototype remains to be seen.

[via This is my next]