– The world’s first mobile, Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, is the most profitable on eBay
– The Nokia 6630 was the most sold retro mobile phone on eBay –
Since the first phone was invented 40 years ago, they have hugely improved in functionality, with Brits becoming reliant on them, spending an average of four hours a day using various functions, such as call, text, social media and banking apps.
According to a study, nearly 30 million people in the UK hang on to their old mobile phones, which could collectively be worth billions. But which are the most profitable?
Phone and gadget insurance company Protect Your Bubble conducted a study to reveal which retro mobile phones could earn you a tidy sum amid the cost-of-living crisis.
In first place, and the most profitable mobile to have kept hold of, is the world’s first portable mobile phone, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. The brick handset, sold for £3000 in the UK in 1985, can sell on eBay for an average price of £1,776.01.
The market for the DynaTAC model isn’t all that big either, with only 12 sold in the past year, with sellers making over £21,000 on them altogether.
The HTC Touch Diamond2 is the second most profitable, with £542.90 made from just one sale this year.
Following its release in 2009, the Windows Mobile 6.1 personal digital assistant (PDA) was the first device to feature TouchFLO 3D – a graphical user interface featuring icons, such as contacts, text messages, emails and a calendar tab. The HTC phone was dubbed the ‘most credible alternative to the iPhone available anywhere’ thanks to its easy-to-use features.
In third position is the original iPhone model, which sells for an average price of £542.55. In the last year, 61 sellers have grossed £33,100 overall from the sales of 61 handsets.
The iPhone release, announced by Apple CEO Steve Jobs in 2008, became popular due to its striking design, high functionality and rich browsing experience – making it more than just a phone but a camera, music player and game console, too.
Originally sold for around £400, the first-generation iPhone’s ability to hold its value 15 years later proves it’s one to be remembered.
Completing the top five are the iPhone 3G (£308.68), Motorola RAZR2 (£239.25) and Motorola Microtac 9800X (£239.36), which grossed £2,000, £15,000, and £1,300 in sales on eBay between 2021 and 2022, respectively.
Interestingly, the most common old mobile phones sold on eBay didn’t feature in the top 10.
The Nokia 6630, which is said to be the first dual-modem tri-band handset designed to work on 3G, EDGE and 2G networks, was released in 2004 and sold 1614 times on the online marketplace for an average of £4.23 in the last year.
Meanwhile, 1444 Nokia 6310I and 1417 Blackberry Bold were sold between May 2021 and May 2022 – making up the top three most sold.
James Brown, Director at Protect Your Bubble, commented:
“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 about, 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.”