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Old Mobile Phones You Have Lying Around Could Now Be Worth Thousands

Old Mobile Phones You Have Lying Around Could Now Be Worth Thousands

Antique website has revealed the most valuable vintage phones which could be worth thousands of pounds

Beth Cunliffe

Beth Cunliffe

Back in the late 90s and early Noughties, you could pick up a discount mobile phone for under £40. But some of those early models could now be worth thousands of pounds.

Antiques website has put together a list of the most valuable old-school mobile phones, so if you've got a 'brick' hidden away in a junk drawer, you could be quids in.

At the top of the list is a rare pre-production prototype model of the very first iPhone - which hit stores back in 2007. If you're lucky enough to have one, it's apparently worth a whopping £10,000.

A rare prototype of the first iPhone could fetch a whopping £10,000.

Other phones that could potentially be worth a fortune include more common models like old Motorolas and Nokias.

But what makes an old phone valuable?

Well it's all to do with the software installed on the phone, the exact model, how rare the phone is and interestingly, whether or not it has a bit of a cult status.

For example, the prototype iPhone 1 has previously been sold for £30,000 because it has different software installed and is therefore rarer than many post-production iPhones, which are much less valuable.

The iconic Motorola DynaTAC 8000X from 1984 could be worth up to £3,500.
Wikimedia Commons/Redrum0486

Models ranging from the classic 1984 Motorola 8000x, 1994's IBM Simon Personal Communicator (widely considered to be the world's first smartphone), and 2005's Nokia Sapphire 8800 can all fetch top dollar nowadays.

According to, the 10 most valuable mobile phones are:

  1. Pre-production Prototype iPhone 1 - £10,000+
  2. Motorola 8000x - £800 - £3,500
  3. Nokia 7700 - £1,000 - £2,000
  4. Mobira Senator NMT- £800 - £2,000
  5. IBM Simon Personal Communicator- £800 - £2,000
  6. Nokia Sapphire 8800 - £500 - £2,000
  7. Technophone PC105T - £600 - £1,500
  8. Orbitel Citiphone- £600 - £1,000
  9. Ericsson R290 Satellite Phone - £300 - £1,000
  10. Rainbow StarTAC - £100 - £400

Will Thomas, of said: "As something most people use every day, it's almost strange to think of mobile phones as antiques, but as we outlined with our 'Antech' category the pace of technological advancements means that a lot of them are nearing that stage.

"It is safe to say that there are some weird and wonderful models out there, some I'm sure a lot of people today wouldn't even know were phones and yet they can be worth an enormous amount."

The Ericsson R290 Satellite Phone, released in 1999, could sell for up to £1,000.
Wikimedia Commons

So if you're now frantically rifling through your cupboards in search of a potential windfall, here are some things you should consider before you start planning that dream holiday.

Is the phone in its original packaging? Devices that come with original paperwork and accessories will be worth more.

Also don't automatically discount broken devices. If the battery no longer works or it can't connect to a network, understanding why the phone no longer works can still mean it's valuable.

Does the device have a unique selling point? Rare software or iconic tech could play a bigger part than the age of the phone.

Now time to have a dig through your drawers for those block phones of yesteryear.

Featured Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Topics: News, Technology