Question of the day: is your old mobile worth a fortune?
These are “antiques“, but not as you know them. According to new research, your old, bulky mobiles that collect dust in your closet might be worth a bob or two.
How? ‘Or’ What?
Under the aegis of antiquities now called “antech”, one man’s waste can become another’s treasure.
According to the online antiques market LoveAntiques.com, interest in “antech” is on the rise, the term being used to describe any technological product that predates two generations of technology.
But isn’t it just any old object?
The phones most likely to be worth large amounts of money are usually the first model in a line, or phones with unusual designs, those that have become associated with iconic films, or those made from luxury materials.
The most precious…?
The top 10 list ranges from classic ‘brick’ phones to some very ‘Back to the Future’ devices, which total over £ 25,000. A pre-production iPhone 1 prototype tops the list at £ 10,000, followed by a Motorola 8000x and a Nokia 7700.
Search and see if you have a Mobira Senator NMT, which could cost between £ 800 and £ 2,000; an IBM Simon Personal Communicator, which can cost between £ 800 and £ 2,000; a Nokia Sapphire 8800, estimated to be worth between £ 500 and £ 2,000; a Technophone PC105T, for around £ 600 to £ 1,500; an Orbitel Citiphone, for around £ 600 to £ 1,000; an Ericsson R290 satellite phone, which could cost between £ 300 and £ 1,000 or a Rainbow StarTAC, which would cost between £ 100 and £ 400.
What are collectors looking for?
Experts suggest that small factors like branding, software, model, cult status, and rarity are just a few of the things that can make a mobile phone valuable. For example, the top-of-the-list mobile – the prototype iPhone 1 – is known to fetch up to £ 30,000, although unfortunately many post-production iPhones have been equipped with a software prototype, which makes them less valuable. It is also important to know the common signifiers of a fake versus the real deal.
What are the top tips for collecting cell phones?
They include checking the status of the phone – items in their original packaging, along with their original documents and accessories, will fetch the highest price. Budding collectors are also urged to find the USP – the unique selling point – of the phone – icon status and technological milestones far more valuable than age alone.
Aren’t these quite “antiques,” however?
When it comes to tech collectibles, experts at LoveAntiques.com believe the pace of technological advancement means that terms traditionally used like “antique” – something at least 100 years old – and “vintage” – at least 20 years – are inappropriate. They will now define any product prior to two generations of technology as “antech”, opting for the recognizable Latin prefix “ante”, which means “before”.
Worth a look anyway?
Will Thomas of LoveAntiques.com said, “Collecting anything is a great hobby whether you choose to make money from it or not. Collecting tech is especially great because you can almost create a timeline of how it has evolved over the years, and even how it continues to develop with new advancements.