An early iPhone 4 prototype has been brought to public auction on eBay running Apple’s in-house diagnostics software. The 32 gig N90AP prototype doesn’t have an Apple branding on the exterior of the device. Instead, the traditional Apple logo has been replaced with a distinct prototype logo ‘Protologo’ – as seen in a Twitpic posting in February 2010. The prototype is running Apple’s Switchboard software testing suite and is fully functional.
Other notable changes when compared to original iPhone 4 is that the testing unit doesn’t have + / – markings on the volume switches. Bottom screws are missing and the phone uses a special clamp to hold the back on instead, although it appears to be broken. Aside from the logo, the back cover is marked with word “Prototype” with a disclaimer that reads “this device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission” along with a warning that the device “may not be offered for sale or lease… until authorization is obtained.”
The eBay listing reads: ”iPhone (sic) 4 Prototype/Tester unit. This is one of a VERY small amount of Apple prototype devices and never seen on ebay… THIS IPHONE is a functional representation of this design. This iPhone (again, sic) is not only unique in it’s (sic) hardware, but it’s running Apple’s software testing suite, called SwitchBoard. Usually these prototypes are disabled by Apple but this one is fully functional.“
As evident in the video, the serial number (S/N 889430D1BHH) indicates that it was manufactured during the 43rd week of 2009, which corresponds to late October, almost 8-months before the final iPhone 4 device was launched.
The seller, Sonny Dickson has put a $10,000 Buy It Now threshold price on the working iPhone prototype. Bidding for the one-of-a-kind iPhone 4 prototype currently stands at $4500. Apple has not commented on the sale.
[Update]: Apple’s legal team has shut the auction down. If you want to own the masterpiece, get in touch with Sonny Dickson, the seller on twitter.