I don’t normally pay much attention to anything the Daily Mail says – if I did to be honest I’d probably be holed up in a panic room surviving on bread and water as every other type of food known to man causes some terrible disease and modern Britain is too dangerous to venture outside. However, something caught my eye earlier.
For ten points, can you guess what this is (apart from a mobile phone that wouldn’t look out of place in Del Boy’s possession in Only Fools & Horses)?
It’s a Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, launched on an unsuspecting American public in 1983 (with the UK version coming a few years later in 1985). And apparently it could be worth up to £1000 – at least that’s what mobile phone collector Ian Reynolds, co-owner of vintagemobilephones.com, reckons.
The article in the Daily Mail goes on to say that Ian, 42, of County Kerry, says that a mint UK-version 8000X in the original box with all the accessories could fetch £3000. But don’t be confused by the similar looking 8500X – favoured by the aforementioned David Jason in Only Fools & Horses – which is sadly only worth £50-£100.
Another Motorola handset – the 3300 GSM, introduced in a fanfare in 1994 and, according to the Daily Mail, the first one with the ability to receive text messages, could get you up to £300 depending on condition. Ian says “You signed up to a server who sent texts as scroll messages that passed over the phone screen. These mobiles can sell for £130 to £300 if still boxed.”
Feeling a bit left out as you’ve only got a drawer full of old Nokia and Sony Ericsson phones from the last few years? Mobile phone recycling companies like Envirofone will give you an average of £40 for a working second-hand mobile – and Boots are now apparently now offering up to 5,000 Advantage Card points for your old handset. And there’s always the trusty standby of your local Computer Exchange (CEX) store. However, if you want to make the world a better place and start on the long road to beat Bill Gates’s philanthropy skills, the Daily Mail suggests donating your old unwanted mobile to a charity shop – and says Oxfam, Guide Dogs For The Blind, Action Aid and Hearing Dogs For Deaf People will happily take it off your hands.
Now if you don’t mind I’m off to find my old Mercury One2One-branded Motorola M400 (the ‘flip without a flip’). It cost me £300 (with a contract!) back in 1994 and, at the time, caused my father to exclaim: ‘What does an 18 year old want with a mobile? Only posers and drug dealers have mobiles – which one are you then, son?’
If my M400 is worth anything, I might need to remind him of the story when I next see him and suggest that, in hindsight, there was a third option: a savvy investor.