As we fill our Christmas stockings with the latest must-have technology, what happens to the tech gadgets of Christmas past that were once at the cutting edge, but have now been superseded by advancements in innovation and design? New research shows those old Nokia’s may be worth something…
According to new research published today by Talkmobile, nearly 15 million households in the UK have an old tech item lying forgotten around their home. The study of just over 2000 adults found that items gathering dust at home include games consoles, vinyl record players and VCRs, with mobile phones at 55% the most likely to be languishing unused.
• Nearly one quarter of us have at least one unused old phone lying around
• Asking prices for some retro phone models as much £1000 on eBay
• The most affectionately remembered phone game is ‘Snake’
Over one third (34%) of those surveyed said that if they found an old phone lying around they would probably leave it in a drawer and forget about it. In fact, only 17% of us would sell on our old phones, which could mean we’re missing out on some extra cash. Even the most common models of phones could sell for £20-£50 on listings sites such as eBay.
As we approach the most expensive time of the year, Talkmobile is encouraging families to comb their sock drawers, trawl through their attics and search the back of their wardrobes for their old and unloved mobile phones and they’ve helpfully compiled a list of the some of the most iconic handsets from the last thirty years on the Talkmobile blog.
According to the experts, you might find a phone worth a small fortune, as some retro handsets are now classed as modern antiques with collectors willing to pay handsomely for them.
Mobile phone expert Ben Wood, from CCS Insight, who has a collection of nearly 1000 mobile phones from the last 30 years said, “We all remember our first mobile phones, whether it was the iconic brick-sized Motorola DynaTAC used by Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, a Samsung that flipped open, or the noughties manufacturer of choice, Nokia. It’s now over thirty years since the first mobile phone became commercially available and a whole generation of people have owned a host of different handsets over the years. Finding an old handset in the back of a drawer can be an evocative experience: people tend to remember the phone they had during significant periods in their lives, such as a certain job or a particularly memorable holiday.’
The study showed our most affectionate memories are for the humble Nokia 3310 and 3390 models. The most popular phone of the late 90’s and early 00’s featured pioneering elements such as an inbuilt aerial, exchangeable cases, text messaging and the addictive game ‘Snake’.
‘It’s no surprise people are nostalgic about their Nokias,’ explains Ben, ‘the brand was a real game changer back in the nineties and Nokia worked extremely hard to make the mobile phone accessible to everyone. Nokia phones were affordable, robust and reliable, and unlike most smartphones of today, sometimes only needed charging once a week. Thanks to Nokia the mobile phone became the most prolific consumer electronics device on the planet.
Although most people think the old mobile phones gathering dust at home are worthless, there are certain models that are particularly valuable. Serious collectors are willing to pay around £800-£1000 for the most iconic phones such as the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x or the Mobira Talkman, but even the most everyday handset models could fetch between £10-£20 on eBay.
These days, recently released handsets generally don’t increase in value, so if you’re after a bit of extra cash for Christmas, my advice is to have a clear out. Unless there is a sentimental reason for holding on to an old mobile, recycle it, donate it to charity or get it sold and put the cash towards something you really want this Christmas.’