Forget the new iPad. A prototype of Apple's WALT, or "Wizzy Active Lifestyle Telephone," sold on eBay on Sunday for $8,000, sending gadget geeks and Apple fanboys into a frenzy. The reason? Apple introduced the device at MacWorld Boston in 1993, but never put the then-state-of-the-art product on the market.
"I have decided it's time to let go of the jewel of my collection," the seller, Russell400 of West Linn, Ore., wrote in the original eBay listing. "The W.A.LT. is an incredibly rare find and will make your collection the envy of all the Apple fanatics out there."
The WALT sported an LCD touch-screen, a stylus for its handwriting recognition system, FAX, address book, caller ID, speakers—even personalized ring tones.
One problem for the buyer, who was not named: the WALT doesn't exactly work.
"This device is in excellent condition for a prototype," Russell wrote. "Both the screen and the hard drive work sporadically. It seems quite apparent that there are some loose connections. Though I'm selling the device as is, I feel confident that someone could get inside this and have it working consistently in no time. It has been fully functional. This is an incredible device and I hope to find a good home for it."
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