And with that, the tradition continues. Every year or so, it seems that an iPhone prototype of some description manages to find its way onto eBay, and just over a year after the first iPhone 4 prototype made its way into public view, the precious item you see above is now available on a public auction site. To our knowledge, this is the first iPhone 4 prototype to be offered for sale on eBay -- at least from someone who actually appears to be legitimate and in possession of the device he / she claims to own -- boasting an etched 'DF1692' label in the lower right, omitted volume button markers and a mysterious 'XXGB' label around back. Unfortunately, we're told that it can't be activated through iTunes, and popping in an AT&T SIM did the seller little good. 'Course, at $810 and rising, we highly doubt such trivial matters will deter collectors from ponying up. Hit the source link to get your bid in -- you know, before Apple's henchmen convince Mr. Donahoe to pull the plug.

Update: As of 12:58am ET on July 4, 2011, this phone now sits at $70,100. Let freedom ring.

Update 2: As of 1:11am ET on July 4, 2011, this phone now sits at over $100,000. We highly doubt the buyer's coming through on this one.

Update 3: As of 8:44am ET on July 4, 2011, this phone now sits at just over $2,000. The seller has apparently cancelled numerous false bids.