Technique in the movies: the possible impact of the most famous mobile phones on real sales

Mobile phones have been in movies since the 1980’s, but which ones really worked?

Online Retailer Research, how mobile phone technology in contemporary cinema may have affected real-life sales.

James Bond Casino Royale (Sony Ericsson K800i)


Sony Ericsson has been a popular phone through the Bond franchise, appearing in iconic films such as Tomorrow Never Dies and Daniel Craig’s first outing, Casino Royale. On the 21stst Bond film, released 16th November 2006, Craig unveiled Sony Ericsson K800i (with a unique silver exterior)1.

Sony Ericsson sales increased by a whopping £ 3.1 million in 2006, the year the film was released, and a further £ 1.6 million in 2007.2. After its use by the world’s largest secret agent, Sony Ericsson has seen this giant leap in sales, with customers worldwide showing the brand a similar level of enthusiasm as 007 did.

The Matrix (Nokia 8110)


In 1999, the Nokia 8110 featured in The Matrix. The slider was used by young Keanu Reeves, a high-end device at the time (costing over £ 700)3. The film was released on the 11thth June 1999, with worldwide success and critical acclaim, and the following year saw a huge boost in sales for the Nokia brand.

In the year following the 2000 film, Nokia made £ 26.5 billion in net sales, up from £ 9.5 billion the previous year (£ 17 billion).4 It seemed to be a common theme in the early 2000s for brands to see an increase in the months after brand use of movie heroes.

Mighty 2 and The Social Network (LG VX9400)


The LG VX9400 appeared in two major hits in 2010, Iron Man 2 (released 30).th April) and The Social Network (15th October). Known as a “wing” flip phone, Tony Stark (Robert Downey-Junior) uses it in the opening scene of the Marvel movie.5

In the year the two films were released, LG’s mobile phone sales rose 11% quarter over a quarter, with a total of 30.6 million handsets being shipped.6 Iron Man is known for its advanced (usually fictitious) technology, and his enthusiasm has been shared with LG customers.

Wall Street (Motorola DynaTAC)


A wealthy investor, Gordon Gekko, famously uses the Motorola DynaTAC in American drama Wall Street, starring Michael Douglas and Michael Sheen. The series of “brick” phones, used in the 80’s and 90’s, were the first commercially available mobile phones and sold at £ 2800.7

Wall Street was released in 1987, a year in which Motorola saw sales rise a record 14% to £ 4.7 billion.8 The phone has notably appeared in many other film and television shows over the years, such as American Psycho and Saved by the Bell.

Devil Wears Prada


This classic Rom-Com, Devil Wears Prada, starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway, features the popular Motorola Razr flip phone, which has quickly become a popular television and film device, including A Good Year, Lost and Prison Break. .9

Following the film’s release in October 2006, Moto sales the following year (2007) jumped up 42%, corresponding to a whopping £ 1.5 million.10 It seems that customers were just as enthusiastic about Motorola as their on-screen idols were.

It is safe to say that the film has put mobile phones on the map, with an increase of £ 497,000 in sales.11and support for the fashion icon, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep).

Andrew Cartledge, mobile expert at commented: “The impact the film industry has had on pop culture is widespread in our daily lives. Although we may not realize it, our spending habits are influenced by what we see on our screens, and technology is a prime example of that.

“Over the years, well-known names like Motorola and Nokia have appeared on the big screen, which has ultimately affected the brand’s reputation and consumer spending. Associating Sony Ericsson with an iconic character such as James Bond creates demand get your hands on the model seen on screen so they can be just like their on-screen heroes. “


* All financial figures have been converted to GBP accurate since 21/06/21


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