The seller said that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had contacted him about the strange device, and some commentators speculated that threats of legal action had convinced the eBay salesman to return the phone to Apple. However as it turned out, the company offered to exchange the prototype for a new iPhone 6, and the seller refused.

"Unfinished" iPhone 6 Sells on eBay

The device has a distinctive red charging port, no FCC markings and features pre-release software which is quite obviously not iOS 8. The phone was sent out by accident when the seller renewed his contract with U.S. carrier Verizon. This time around the phone sold for $11,000.

The first point of contention is whether the phone was actually a prototype at all, and if not then why did it sell for such a large amount of money?

Apple verification about unfinished iPhone 6

In the new listing the seller specifies that Apple contacted him about the device, and told him that it wasn’t a prototype but an unfinished iPhone 6 that “went through the manufacturing process and was never completed.”

The fact that the device was supposedly not a prototype wiped off some of its value, but there was obviously still interest in the listing. As the seller wrote, the device “is running applications that do not come on the released device.” This software would be of interest to rivals who want to try and figure out Apple’s future plans.

Consequences

Assuming that they cannot be punished for selling the device, the eBay salesman made a great choice in listing the item again. Apple’s offer of a new iPhone 6 has a maximum value of $949 for an unlocked, top-of-the-range model, so the seller is over $10,000 better off following the end of the auction.

The consequences of the leak are still an unknown quantity, but the shipping of an unfinished device is a big mistake from Foxconn and Apple. Their reaction so far would suggest that they are not too worried about the information contained on the device, but of course they could have been bluffing in their rather nonchalant response to the eBay auction.

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