YOUR first cell phone may have been cheap compared to today’s smartphones – but they could actually be worth a fortune now.
The most valuable one – the first iPhone before production – is worth £ 10,000, according to online market research LoveAntiques.
There are also potential cows for those who still have old Motorola and Nokia phones as well.
You will most likely have value if it is the first model in a range, it had an unusual design or if it became related to iconic movies.
Alternatively, you can make mint if it is made from luxury materials.
Will Thomas of LoveAntiques said: “It’s almost strange to think of mobile phones as antiques, but as we’ve outlined with our ‘antek’ category the speed of technological advances means many of them are approaching that stage.”
Best tips for collecting old cell phones
SUE are some tips for collectors of old LoveAntiques cell phones.
- Check the condition of the phone – Items in their original packaging, with their original paper and accessories will bring more money.
- Find the unique selling point of the phone – Icon status and technical milestones are far more valuable than age alone
- Understand the technology – Many older phones are either out of battery power or unable to connect to the network. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but make sure you understand why it is no longer working.
- Study the phones – Most importantly make sure you understand the differences between barely changed models – it could make a big difference to the price.
He added: “It’s safe to say that there are some weird and amazing models out there, some I’m sure a lot of people today wouldn’t even know are phones and yet they can be worth a huge amount.
“Collecting technology is particularly interesting because you can almost create a timeline of how it has developed over the years, and even how it continues to evolve with new advances.”
Below LoveAntiques has listed the top 10 most valuable cell phones you may have at home.
Prices were calculated using eBay sales over the past year and estimates by an ancient technical expert.
The range reflects the difference between a single slightly damaged phone on its own, compared to one in good condition complete in its box.
1. Pre-production iPhone 1, £ 10,000 +
The Apple iPhone was a major milestone in phone design and concept when it was released in 2007.
If you have a pre-production prototype of the model, then you’re in luck as it could be worth over £ 10,000.
In fact, there are examples of auctions when the phones have sold for over £ 30,000.
However, keep in mind that prices can fluctuate wildly and the phone is worth just as much as someone else is willing to pay for it.
Also, be aware that there are standard iPhones with prototype software installed, making them look like the real thing.
2. Motorola 8000x, £ 800- £ 3,500
The Motorola 8000X, also known as the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, was the first hand-held cell phone in the world.
The series of mobile phones were released by Motorola between 1983 and 1994.
You could get the 8000X in three color schemes, beige and cream, black and white, or white.
Compared to today’s standards, the phone is huge, but at the time it was considered a less expensive option than those usually found in cars.
3. Nokia 7700, £ 1,000- £ 2,000
The Nokia 7700 was produced as a prototype unit in 2003 and 2004, but it was never actually released.
This explains its high estimated value between £ 1,000 and £ 2,000.
If released, it would be a challenge for the very first smartphone but it is now a sought-after collection instead.
4. Mobira Senator NMT, £ 800- £ 2,000
The Mobira Senator NMT was launched by Nokia in the early 1980s, and it was the first mobile phone made by the brand.
It weighed 22 pounds, compared to the two pounds of the Motorola 8000x.
The phone was marketed for car use, but you could also carry it around.
5. IBM Simon Personal Communicator, £ 800- £ 2,000
The IBM Simon Person Communicator was released in 1994 as a handheld, touchscreen personal digital assistant.
Although the term “smartphone” was not coined after its release, it was retrospectively referred to as the first true smartphone.
Produced by Mitsubishi Electric, it allowed users to make phone calls, emails, and feature built-in apps such as a calendar and address book.
6. Nokia Sapphire 8800, £ 500- £ 2,000
The Nokia 8800 was considered a luxury phone when it was released in 2005.
This was thanks to its scratchy screen, lightweight nature and high-end sliding mechanism.
It was designed in a range of colors including gold, black, silver and sapphire, of which the latter is now worth up to £ 2,000.
7. Technophone PC105T, £ 600- £ 1,500
The Technophone PC105T was released in 1986, and was marketed as the first phone to fit in a shirt pocket.
The phone was developed with a grant from the UK’s Department for Trade and Industry.
Its small size has inspired government policymakers to see the mass-market potential of mobile phones.
It first sold for £ 1,990, according to the Science Museum, which was very expensive for most people at the time.
8. Orbitel Citiphone, £ 600- £ 1,000
The Orbitel Citiphone is a classic brick phone released in 1987 that rarely appears now.
It was one of the first mobile phones on the UK market.
Collectors with one of the phones can now expect to receive between £ 600 and £ 1,000 for it, according to LoveAntiques.
9. Ericsson R290 Satellite Phone, £ 300- £ 1,000
Launched in 1999, the Ericsson R290 Satellite Phone was one of the first satellite phones that made it possible to call friends and family from afar.
It uses a folding antenna as long as the body of the phone, and also has a built-in modem for data and fax communication.
The phones are now worth between £ 300 and £ 1,000, according to the research.
10. StarTAC rainbow, £ 100- £ 400
Motorola released the StarTAC range in 1996, and it was one of the first shell design phones.
A multicolored version has been released in limited numbers, and it is sometimes referred to as the United Colors of Benetton phone.
If you have one at home, it could now be worth between £ 100 and £ 400.
We round other classic cell phones that could bring you wealth online.
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