THE cost of buying the very latest smartphone can easily hit four figures for people with big pockets and a desire to keep up to date with the latest technology.
But there’s a blossoming market in buying original smartphone designs as well as mobile phone relics going back three decades and more.
Demand for these is going through the roof with collectors prepared to pay high prices.
An original iPhone made by Apple in a sealed box recently went for €170,000.
There are even prototype phone designs that were never even manufactured that are fetching premium rates in auctions and second-hand sales.
The key thing is that the phones must work and if you have kept hold of an old model, then you could make some very serious money.
The most valuable items go back to the start of the mobile phone era and include the 1987 Orbitel Citiphone; the 1996 Motorola StarTac; the 1999 Ericsson R290; and the 2005 Nokia Sapphire.
The eye-watering prices include:
- Motorola StarTac: From €470
- Orbitel Citiphone: From €1,200
- Nokia 3310: From €1,500
- Ericsson R290: From €2,000
- Nokia 7700: From €2,500
- Mobiera Senator: From €2,500
- Nokia Sapphiere 8800: From €3,400
- Motorola 8000x: From €4,000
- iPhone 1: From €30,000
None of the phones was the biggest seller, with that honour going to the Nokia 1100 which was launched in 2003.
It’s design did not have a camera or a colour screen, but it did include a closed keyboard to stop dust entering.
The phone also had non-slip rubber edges and some 36 ringtones to choose from.
It also included ‘standard’ features these days like a torch, clock, calendar, calculator, stopwatch and address book- all for the modest sum of just under €100!