Retro mobile phones that could earn you the most cash, revealed

Are you hoarding any old mobile phones at home? It turns out you could be sitting on a goldmine.

This week, a bidder paid $39,000 (£34,700) for an unopened first generation iPhone – more than 50 times its original price.

Unfortunately, it’s very unlikely you’ll get this much for your old gadgets, but research by Protect Your Bubble suggests you could still make a decent profit.

According to the website, the original iPhone model is selling for an average of £542.55 on eBay, while the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X fetches an average price of £1,776.01.

Here’s a look at the retro handsets that could earn you the most cash.

Are you hoarding any old mobile phones at home? It turns out you could be sitting on a gold mine

The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X (pictured) was the world's first portable mobile phone, weighing a whopping 784 g (1.75 lbs), and was worth £3,000 in the UK in 1985. Now, it is the most profitable handset to flog online, selling for an average price of £1,776.01

The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X (pictured) was the world’s first portable mobile phone, weighing a whopping 784 g (1.75 lbs), and was worth £3,000 in the UK in 1985. Now, it is the most profitable handset to flog online, selling for an average price of £1,776.01

The HTC Touch Diamond2 (pictured) is the second most profitable, with £542.90 made from just one sale this year.  This was released in 2009, a year after the second generation iPhone 3G was released, and was branded as a 'personal digital assistant' from Windows

The HTC Touch Diamond2 (pictured) is the second most profitable, with £542.90 made from just one sale this year. This was released in 2009, a year after the second generation iPhone 3G was released, and was branded as a ‘personal digital assistant’ from Windows

Coming third is the original iPhone model (pictured), referred to unofficially as the 'iPhone 1' or 'iPhone 2G', which sells for an average price of £542.55

It is followed by the second generation iPhone, the iPhone 3G (pictured), which goes for an average of £301.68

Coming third is the original iPhone model (left), referred to unofficially as the ‘iPhone 1’ or ‘iPhone 2G’, which sells for an average price of £542.55. It is followed by the second generation iPhone, the iPhone 3G (right), which goes for an average of £301.68

TOP 20 MOST PROFITABLE RETRO PHONES ON EBAY

  1. Motorola DynaTAC 8000X – £1,776.01
  2. HTC Touch Diamond2 – £542.90
  3. iPhone – £542.55
  4. iPhone 3G – £301.68
  5. Motorola RAZR2 – £239.25
  6. Motorola Microtac 9800X – £230.36
  7. Motorola International 3200 – £215.50
  8. Nokia 7280 – £180.44
  9. Nokia N79 – £171.62
  10. Ericsson T39 – £146.85
  11. Nokia E90 Communicator – £134.25
  12. Nokia N-Gage – £112.90
  13. Nokia 9000 Communicator – £112.52
  14. HTC Universal – £104.25
  15. Nokia 9110I – £100.75
  16. Motorola RAZR2 V9 – £93.44
  17. Nokia 7600 – £86.69
  18. Nokia 2100 – £66.74
  19. Sidekick LX 2009 – £57.09
  20. Nokia 8110 – £56.70

Research has revealed that UK households are storing an estimated 527 million unwanted electrical items.

That is the equivalent of 20 discarded devices per home, with mobile phones being the most hoarded piece of tech.

According to Ofcom, 45 per cent of UK households have two mobile phones, while research from giffgaff revealed nearly 30 million people are hanging onto an old one.

Experts from Protect Your Bubble have discovered which brands and models will fetch the biggest resale value on eBay.

While the retro DynaTAC is the most valuable, it doesn’t have a huge market, as only 12 have been sold in the last year.

After that, the HTC Touch Diamond2 is the second most profitable, with £542.90 made from just one sale this year.

This was released in 2009, a year after the second generation iPhone 3G was released, and was branded as a ‘personal digital assistant’ from Windows.

It was the first device to feature the TouchFLO 3D interface, which gave it an easy-to-use array of icons, making it a credible alternative to the Apple handsets.

The HTC Touch Diamond2 is worth £528.94 more than its predecessor the HTC Touch Diamond, which has been sold for just £13.42.

Coming third is the original iPhone model, referred to unofficially as the ‘iPhone 1’ or ‘iPhone 2G’, which sells for an average price of £542.55.

The first iPhone was introduced by Apple CEO Steve Jobs in January 2007 at MacWorld San Francisco, with the slogan ‘Apple reinvents the phone’.

That June, the 8 GB version was released to the public at $599 – or £269 at the time – and it became Apple’s most successful product.

Its iconic touchscreen and layout of apps forever changed the smartphone industry, and was named the Time Magazine Invention of the Year in 2007.

In the last year, sellers have grossed £33,100 overall from the sales of 61 handsets.

Completing the top six are the iPhone 3G, Motorola RAZR2 and Motorola Microtac 9800X, which sell for an average of £308.68, £239.25 and £239.36 respectively.

The Nokia 7280 is the eighth most valuable retro phone sold on eBay, and has an average price of £180.44.  It was known as the 'lipstick' phone and had a spinner instead of a keypad

The Nokia 7280 is the eighth most valuable retro phone sold on eBay, and has an average price of £180.44. It was known as the ‘lipstick’ phone and had a spinner instead of a keypad

The device with the highest number of sales between May 2021 and May 2022 was the Nokia 6630 (pictured), with 1,614 units sold

The Nokia 6310i (pictured) from 2002 is the highest grossing retro phone, as sales of them raked in £68,517 in just 12 months

The device with the highest number of sales between May 2021 and May 2022 was the Nokia 6630 (left), with 1,614 units sold. The Nokia 6310i (right) from 2002 is the highest grossing retro phone, as sales of them raked in £68,517 in just 12 months

However, while these devices bring in the most money individually, they are not necessarily the most in-demand.

The device with the highest number of sales between May 2021 and May 2022 was the Nokia 6630, with 1,614 units sold.

The Nokia 6630 is said to be the first dual-modem tri-band handset designed to work on 3G, EDGE and 2G networks, and was released in 2004.

It’s a cheap device, with an average selling price of £4.23, but still managed to gross £6,827 over the 12-month period.

In second place is the Nokia 6310i with 1,444 sales, and in third is the BlackBerry Bold with 1,417 sold.

As 17 of the top 20 most in-demand devices are Nokias, their classic keypad is clearly a draw for retro phone collectors.

This trend is maintained for the top 20 highest grossing mobiles, as 15 of these were also Nokia handsets.

The third highest grossing and third highest demand retro phone was the BlackBerry Bold (pictured).  This year, in January, BlackBerry's legacy software was decommissioned, possibly spurring more nostalgic purchases

The third highest grossing and third highest demand retro phone was the BlackBerry Bold (pictured). This year, in January, BlackBerry’s legacy software was decommissioned, possibly spurring more nostalgic purchases

TOP 20 MOST SOLD AND HIGHEST GROSSING RETRO PHONES ON EBAY

Most sold retro phones

  1. Nokia 6630 – 1,614
  2. Nokia 6310I – 1,444
  3. BlackBerry Bold – 1,417
  4. Nokia 8210 – 1,106
  5. Nokia 6100 – 994
  6. Nokia N95 – 950
  7. Nokia 6680 – 882
  8. Nokia 8110 – 612
  9. Nokia 2100 – 596
  10. Nokia E71 – 358
  11. Nokia 7610 – 278
  12. BlackBerry Pearl – 252
  13. Nokia 3310 -237
  14. Nokia 6600 – 229
  15. Nokia 3220 – 215
  16. Nokia 5800 XpressMusic – 192
  17. Nokia 7110 -175
  18. Nokia N97 – 140
  19. Nokia N-Gage – 135
  20. Motorola Startac – 116

Highest grossing retro phones

  1. Nokia 6610i – £68,517
  2. Nokia 2100 – £39,777
  3. BlackBerry Bold – £37,903
  4. Nokia N95 – £36,834
  5. Nokia 8110 – £33,470
  6. iPhone – £33,095
  7. Nokia 8210 £25,305
  8. Motorola DynaTAC 8000X – £21,312
  9. Nokia N-Gage – £15,241
  10. Motorola RAZR2 – £15,073
  11. Nokia E90 Communicator – £8,995
  12. Nokia E71 – £7,944
  13. Nokia 7110 – £7,859
  14. Nokia 6600 – £7,484
  15. Nokia 6100 – £7,316
  16. Nokia 6630 – £6,827
  17. Nokia 3220 – £5,788
  18. BlackBerry Pearl – £5,620
  19. Nokia N97 – £5,390
  20. Nokia 7600 – £4,953

Data collected from eBay between May 2021 and May 2022

As well as being the second most in demand device, the Nokia 6310i from 2002 is also the highest grossing, as sales of them raked in £68,517 in just 12 months.

The second top grossing phone is the Nokia 2100, making £39,777 between May 2021 and May 2022, and the third is the BlackBerry Bold with £37,903.

This year, in January, BlackBerry’s legacy software was decommissioned, possibly spurring more nostalgic purchases.

James Brown, Director at Protect Your Bubble, said: ‘After 40 years of mobile phones, it’s interesting to see which old handsets Brits are willing to pay good money for.

‘If you have any old phones lying around, while the UK cost of living continues to rise – now could be the time to abandon nostalgia and get selling.

But remember, the better condition, the more profitable it will be. Take good care of it with a protective case or cover, clean it regularly and keep software up to date.’

UK households store 527 million unwanted electrical items containing the world’s rarest materials

New research has revealed that UK households are storing an estimated 527 million unwanted electrical items.

That is the equivalent of 20 discarded devices per home, with mobile phones being the most hoarded piece of tech.

However, according to Currys, this e-waste holds a treasure trove of precious metals, including 95 million tons of gold, silver and palladium.

More of these metals can now be found in unwanted gadgets than in natural ores in the ground.

Read more here

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