You can buy the latest Apple iPad for less than $500, but this particularly special iPad has just sold for $30,500 at auction. Why? Because it once belonged to Pope Francis, and has an elaborate inscription on the back, and comes with a certificate verifying its authenticity.
The auction took place at the Castells auction house in Montevideo, Uruguay, but the identity of the new owner is being kept a secret. The tablet was originally a gift to Pope Francis, and was subsequently given to Gonzalo Aemilius as a gift last year. He told Reuters the pope said, “May you do something good with it,” as he passed it on.
Thankfully, Aemilius didn’t take this as a hint to install a Reddit client, or play Candy Crush Saga. Instead, he donated the tablet to the Francisco de Paysandu high school for the poor located 230 miles outside of Montevideo, where the iPad was put up for auction. Now the tablet has been sold, the proceeds will go to improving the school. We’d say Aemilius definitely did some good.
On the rear of the iPad is an inscription which reads, “Su Santidad (His Holiness) Francisco. Servizio Internet Vaticano, March 2013.” This makes the tablet a fourth-generation model, and some images show the device having a Lightning connector rather than the older charge and sync connection. It also comes with a certificate from the Pope’s personal secretary, proving its authenticity.
The Vatican is no stranger to using an iPad to communicate on social media. Back in 2011, the first tweet posted on the official Vatican account was sent via an Apple tablet. The Pope has also auctioned off personal belongings in the past, and last year a Harley Davidson motorcycle — of all things — that was given to him as a gift was sold for more than $250,000. We doubt he had much of a use for it.