The truth about the $149,999 broken iPhone on eBay

Wonder why this broken iPhone costs as much as a high-end sports car?


So if you look up eBay, there is an iPhone listed there for a whopping $149,999, and that is the price for the device which has its front and back panel shattered. Yes, it’s an iPhone 4s, and the front and rear panel glass of the handset is completely broken. However, what’s apparently made the device eligible for that bomb of an asking price is the name of late Steve Jobs on its back panel.

As opposed to the Apple logo at the back of the device, this iPhone has the similar logo, but instead of the bite on the apple, it has the silhouette of Steve Job’s faces carved on the Apple logo. Beneath the logo it reads Steve Jobs and ‘1955-2011’ right below it.


Now, in the description for the device, the seller doesn’t say much about why they think it’s fine to be selling an iPhone 4s for a price of a high-end sports cars, but it’s kind of obvious that Steve Jobs’ name on the back of the device is the reason. Also, the seller claims that the phone is “1 of only 56 phones made to honor the late Steve Jobs”, so that’s another clear cut hint.

However, I know it and you know it, there is something off about this whole situation. Our sister website BGR found out ‘what in the hell is going on here’. So, apparently the logo that the iPhone on eBay uses on its back was designed by Jonathan Mak, a design student in Hong Kong who created it shortly after Jobs’ death as a tribute to the tech guru. It quickly went viral and was ripped off for all kinds of unlicensed accessories, from phone cases to posters.

Then, the logo is also used by Goldgenie. You must have heard about Goldgenie, they are popular for unbelievably expensive versions of the iPhone, Apple Watch, and other Apple devices. The company modifies them by adding lots of gold and sometimes gems and diamonds. ALSO READ: Siri is Batcomputer and you are the Lego Batman

Now here is the fun part, after Jobs passed away in 2011, Goldgenie decided to roll out a special edition iPhone 4s paying tribute to him. These special edition phones had their rear panel replaced with a gold version using Mak’s logo. And guess what Goldgenie made only 56 of them.

Going back to this eBay seller’s claims of selling one of those 56 iPhones is fishy because we don’t see any gold and diamonds on the phone, which the iPhones of this cherished tribute carried.

So how did this happen? Besides Goldgenie, there were many rip offs using Mak’s logo too on unlicensed products. Now this, by all means, could be a product of the grey market. And, if you search a little on eBay itself, you can by the same iPhones with Steve Jobs’ name at the back (and intact ones) for as low as $10 – $15.

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  • Published Date: February 17, 2017 7:15 PM IST
  • Updated Date: February 17, 2017 7:19 PM IST