THEY are ‘antiques’, but not as you know them. According to new research, your clunky old mobiles gathering dust in your cupboard could well be worth a bob or two.


How so?

Under the umbrella of antiques now referred to as ‘antech’, one man’s junk may become another man’s treasure.



According to online antiques marketplace, interest in ‘antech’ is on the rise, with the term used to describe any tech product older than two generations of technology.


But it’s not just any old item?

Phones most likely to be worth sizeable sums are typically the first model in a range, or phones with an unusual design, those that have become associated with iconic films or those made from luxury materials.


The most valuable…?

The top 10 list ranges from the classic “brick” phones to some very ‘Back to the Future-esque’ devices, all of which tally up to more than £25,000 in total. A pre-production iPhone 1 prototype tops the list at £10,000, followed by a Motorola 8000x and Nokia 7700. 



Rummage around and see if you have a Mobira Senator NMT, which could fetch between £800 - £2,000; an IBM Simon Personal Communicator, which could go for anything between £800 - £2,000; a Nokia Sapphire 8800, which is estimated to garner between £500 - £2,000; a Technophone PC105T, for around £600 - £1,500; an Orbitel Citiphone, for around £600 - £1,000; an Ericsson R290 Satellite Phone, which could go for between £300 - £1,000 or a Rainbow StarTAC, which would go for around £100 - £400.


What are collectors looking for?

Experts suggest that small factors like branding, software, model, cult status and rarity are just some things that can make a mobile phone valuable. The mobile at the top of the list for example - the prototype iPhone 1 - has been known to fetch up to £30,000, although, unfortunately many post-production iPhones have had prototype software installed making 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 mobile phones?

They include checking the condition of the phone - items in their original packaging, with their original paperwork and accessories, will fetch top dollar. Budding collectors are also advised to find the USP - unique selling point - of the phone - icon status and tech milestones are far more valuable than age alone. 


They are not quite ‘antiques’, though?

Looking at collectible technological items, experts believe the pace of advancement in technology means traditionally used terms like ‘antique’ – something at least 100 years old – and ‘vintage’ – at least 20 years old – are inappropriate. They will now define any product older than two generations of technology as ‘antech’, opting for the recognisable Latin prefix ‘ante’, meaning ‘before’.


It’s worth a look anyway?

Will Thomas of said: “Collecting anything is a great hobby, whether you choose to make money from it or not. Collecting tech is particularly interesting because you can almost create a timeline of how it has developed over the years, and even how it continues to develop with new advancements.”