Apple created a number of limited release iPods over the past decade, starting with simple Madonna, Beck, Tony Hawk, and U2 releases before moving on to more ambitious designs for retail sale and giveaways. The following limited edition iPod are some of the rarest of iPods, as well as interesting collectibles.
Released at retail
Bloomingdale’s Limited Edition Beatles iPod is not the rarest of iPods, but it is certainly one of the most desired. Released in late 2008, years prior to the availability of Beatles songs in iTunes thanks to the ongoing feud between The Beatles’ Apple Corps Ltd and Apple, the iPod came with the full Beatles discography in CD form. Etched with the band’s logo on the front an a silhouette of John, Paul, Ringo, and George from the cover of Abbey Road on the reverse, each 120 GB iPod came individually numbered. Bloomingdale’s commissioned created twenty-five hundred of these iPods, with the set retailing for $795.
Fox and CBS commissioned several designs to sell in their online stores, including series of Family Guy and Simpsons iPod, and, in some of the worst matches of product and promotion in history, 24 and Beverly Hills 90120 iPod nanos.
The Beverly Hills iPod Nano featured a custom home screen as well as an etching of the cast on the reverse. Fox sold the 4GB nano on their website for $270, well over the retail price for a basic iPod Nano.
Fox also created 2,000 of a 160 GB iPod Classic with Brian from Family Guy proclaiming “That Feels So Good” and 80 GB iPod Classics with an etching of Peter yelling “Freaking Sweet!” on the back. Two Homer Simpson and one Bart Simpson limited edition iPods have been made, with each numbered out of 2,000.
Apple released my personal favorite of the retail group, the Harry Potter Special Edition iPod in 2005, with each iPod pre-loaded with audiobooks from the series. The special edition iPod features the crest of at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on the reverse. Apple released the Hogwarts iPod without a stated print run in a 20 GB version and as a 5th Gen iPod with a 30 GB hard drive.
Covered in crystals
In a charitable turn, Elton John lent his name to a limited edition iPod nano released in 2009 to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Decked in 250 Swarovski crystals each, 100 individual nanos in 9 different colors were produced, with a retail price of $800 for the 8 GB model and $1000 for the 16 GB.
Few limited edition iPhones exist, as the most ventures focus on making limited edition cases instead due to a decreased consumer cost.
Stuart Hughes, however, created a pair of bedazzled iPhones, the $10 Million dollar iPhone 4S Elite Gold. This bastardized iPhone contains a diamond studded iPod logo, a gold-dipped reverse, and a gold home button studded with an 8.6 karat diamond. The iPhone 4S Elite Gold came in a jewel-encrusted box that featured a sliver of fossilized bone from a Tyrannosaur Rex skeleton (really). Whether or not the the pair of iPhones bricked on update to iOS 6.0.1 is unknown.
Money to burn
The Artist formerly known as Prince is behind what is likely to be the most expensive regular release Apple accessory. Limited to 950 pieces, Prince’s purple special edition iPod Touch retailed for an astounding $2,1000. It did include a 40-minute concert pre-loaded onto the device — just over fifty dollars per minute of video. The iPod also came along with the coffee table book Prince Opus by Kraken Opus, a publisher known for its expensive boutique sports and entertainment books.