updated 04:30 pm EST, Mon December 19, 2011
Auction already over $10,000
A fourth-generation iPod shuffle with a case autographed by Steve Jobs is currently up for auction on eBay. The seller says that as part of an "innovators of tomorrow" program, he and three colleagues were invited to an internal Apple event, before which they got free Apple products including Shuffles and iTunes credit. The event ultimately gave the seller and his group a chance to talk with Jobs, at which point they convinced Jobs to sign the iPods.
Jobs allegedly denied being against autographs. "It's quite alright," he's quoted as saying. "You heard that about me? Well I wouldn't say that I don't like giving autographs, I guess I was never comfortable with the idea solely taking credit for something, which is to me what an autograph might imply. To be honest, I think I'm the last person who should sign something. A writer signing a book I can understand, but I think if anybody within our company should sign something, it should be members from our R&D team and all the others responsible for product innovation. It's unfortunate that they all can't receive the same level recognition. But I suppose it's easier this way though?...You would need a pretty big iPod to fit all those signatures."
The seller says that a peer later gave him one of the other autographed Shuffles, but that it's currently on loan to a university gallery until 2012. The one on sale has never been taken out of its case.
Aside from the case signature the Shuffle is just an ordinary 2GB orange model. The MP3 player would normally retail for about $49, but as of this writing bidding is currently at $10,300 with five days left to go in the auction.