Skip navigation
Skip navigation
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser.

‘It’s no surprise people are nostalgic about their Nokias,’ explains Ben, ‘the brand was a real game changer back in the nineties


New study reveals nearly 15 million Brits have an old mobile phone gathering dust in drawers at home.
With the average old phone worth £20, that’s £300,000,000 in unused cash!
Some retro handsets are now design icons, and could be worth a fortune

• Nearly one quarter of us have at least one unused old phone lying around
• Mobile phones are the most common older tech for people to have at home
• The Nokia 3310 is the phone Brits miss the most
• Asking prices for some retro phone models as much £1000 on eBay
• The most affectionately remembered phone game is ‘Snake’

With nearly a quarter (24%) of Brits set to buy tech for themselves or as a gift this Christmas, our desire to own the very latest gadgets shows no sign of abating. But as we fill our Christmas stockings with the latest must-have technology, what happens to the tech gadgets of Christmas past that were once at the cutting edge, but have now been superseded by advancements in innovation and design?

According to new research published today by Talkmobile, nearly 15 million households in the UK have an old tech item lying forgotten around their home. The study of just over 2000 adults found that items gathering dust at home include games consoles, vinyl record players and VCRs, with mobile phones at 55% the most likely to be languishing unused.

Over one third (34%) of those surveyed said that if they found an old phone lying around they would probably leave it in a drawer and forget about it. In fact, only 17% of us would sell on our old phones, which could mean we’re missing out on some extra cash. Even the most common models of phones could sell for £20-£50 on listings sites such as eBay.

As we approach the most expensive time of the year, Talkmobile is encouraging families to comb their sock drawers, trawl through their attics and search the back of their wardrobes for their old and unloved mobile phones and they’ve helpfully compiled a list of the some of the most iconic handsets from the last thirty years on the Talkmobile blog.

According to the experts, you might find a phone worth a small fortune, as some retro handsets are now classed as modern antiques with collectors willing to pay handsomely for them.

Mobile phone expert Ben Wood, from CCS Insight, who has a collection of nearly 1000 mobile phones from the last 30 years said, “We all remember our first mobile phones, whether it was the iconic brick-sized Motorola DynaTAC used by Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, a Samsung that flipped open, or the noughties manufacturer of choice, Nokia. It’s now over thirty years since the first mobile phone became commercially available and a whole generation of people have owned a host of different handsets over the years. Finding an old handset in the back of a drawer can be an evocative experience: people tend to remember the phone they had during significant periods in their lives, such as a certain job or a particularly memorable holiday.’

The study showed our most affectionate memories are for the humble Nokia 3310 and 3390 models. The most popular phone of the late 90’s and early 00’s featured pioneering elements such as an inbuilt aerial, exchangeable cases, text messaging and the addictive game ‘Snake’.

‘It’s no surprise people are nostalgic about their Nokias,’ explains Ben, ‘the brand was a real game changer back in the nineties and Nokia worked extremely hard to make the mobile phone accessible to everyone. Nokia phones were affordable, robust and reliable, and unlike most smartphones of today, sometimes only needed charging once a week. Thanks to Nokia the mobile phone became the most prolific consumer electronics device on the planet.

Although most people think the old mobile phones gathering dust at home are worthless, there are certain models that are particularly valuable. Serious collectors are willing to pay around £800-£1000 for the most iconic phones such as the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x or the Mobira Talkman, but even the most everyday handset models could fetch between £10-£20 on eBay.

These days, recently released handsets generally don’t increase in value, so if you’re after a bit of extra cash for Christmas, my advice is to have a clear out. Unless there is a sentimental reason for holding on to an old mobile, recycle it, donate it to charity or get it sold and put the cash towards something you really want this Christmas.’

Do you own an iconic phone? Check out the Talkmobile blog to see what your old handset could be worth!

Media Contact:
Lucy Heather
LHJ Media: 07789 485 372 /

About the research:
The research for Talkmobile was carried out online by Opinion Matters between 16/11/2016 and 18/11/2016 amongst a panel resulting in 2019 UK Adult respondents. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Opinion Matters is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998.

About Talkmobile:
Talkmobile is a British mobile phone company founded in 2007, run on the Vodafone network and committed to giving its 500,000 customers great prices. Talkmobile are dedicated to making buying and owning a phone straightforward. That’s why they keep things simple with just four great value price plans to choose from and a selection of around 20 well spec’d phones which Talkmobile ranges once they have come down in price, ensuring customers get the best value. 95% of Talkmobile customers pay £10 a month with their SIM only plans, it really is that good value. They also think great customer service starts with common sense, so they’ve made dealing with them easy. For example, it takes just four clicks after you select a SIM only contract to check out.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of LHJ Media in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit