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Thread: What phones are going to become collectible?

  1. #1
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    What phones are going to become collectible?

    I've started to realize, based on the fact that nearly any phone made within the last several years has enough processing power for most peoples' needs, at least within the current frame of reference for what we expect phones to do, isn't there becoming a time when certain phones may become collectible for a lot of people? Or, being that production numbers are usually so high, at least sought after or desired, if not actually scarce?

    To illustrate what I'm talking about, I'm still loving my Galaxy Note Edge, going on three years since it's been released. After my old one got stolen, I went to great lengths to scrounge up another new one. (All the used ones I found for sale were crappily refurbished. Phones don't seem to come onto the used market in very good condition.) It's an oddball in that, AFAIK, it was the only "edge" phone from Samsung to only have the edge screen on one side of the phone. And in a way, it was even more interesting and radical than later edge phones. I've compared it side by side with later models with curves on both sides of the screen, and they actually don't wrap around the side of the phone to quite the degree that the screen on the Note Edge did. It also had a lot of weird stuff going on in the edge screen that I don't think ever got duplicated on later phones.

    I wanted to get a waterproof phone to use when kayaking. Of course I didn't want to drop big money on a new phone, so I found an S4 Active. I'm a big fan of the fact that it's both waterproof and retains a removable back cover and swappable battery. I kind of thought the two of those things were mutually exclusive to one another. Then I realized that Samsung did do it with the S4 and S5 active, before they went all-in on phones with non-removable batteries.

    A friend of mine at work used to swear by his old Samsung Alias phone. He didn't need a smartphone, and it had a really slick feature where each key on the keypad was its own little e-ink display. And the phone had a funky hinge where you could open it like a flip phone, and the keys would look like a normal phone, but open it like a clamshell, and the keys transformed into a qwerty keyboard for messaging. It was admittedly pretty cool and unique.

  2. #2
    'Trep dodint's Avatar
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    They're appliances, they'll become collectible in the same way a coffee maker does.

  3. #3
    Corvette Enthusiast Kchrpm's Avatar
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    I still have my Sony Ericsson S710a, my first phone with a good camera as well as having a very unique design. The big screen and customizable UI was icing on the cake.
    Get that weak shit off my track

  4. #4
    'Trep dodint's Avatar
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    I have a drawer full of old phones. They find occasional uses, like acting as an iRacing HUD.

    15 years ago there were people still holding onto their StarTACs. It happens.

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    Some might become collectibles. Most won't.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dodint View Post
    They're appliances, they'll become collectible in the same way a coffee maker does.
    So is your M6.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yw-slayer View Post
    Some might become collectibles. Most won't.
    I agree. But under that "some might" I think there's space there for certain landmark phones to be revered and looked up to. I'd argue that the Nokia 3310 and the original Moto Razr have achieved this.

    And maybe in the short term, some may be held onto and used for their features, before technology moves so far that they're just plain inadequate for daily use.

  8. #8
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    Everything is collectible - my girlfriend's mom has a collection of '90s Popples - but I think you mean valuable. There are very few examples of valuable old technology. The first Apple II, the first Mac... I can't actually think of anything else. Maybe the first HP calculator? Nobody wants the first TI graphing calculator, the first Dell System 100, the first Casio digital watch. Highly unlikely anything as trivial as a middle age tablet or cell phone is going to be worth anything. Nothing groundbreaking there, they're just evolutionary products.

  9. #9
    'Trep dodint's Avatar
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    I'd still pay some nice coin for an Atari 2600 Heavy Sixer.

  10. #10
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    You can get them on ebay for $100 or so - more or less depending on condition & accessories. Was just pricing old consoles as the girlfriend's mom has both a 2600 and a Colecovision in the garage and we were seeing if it was worth it to sell them. It's not.

    Great example - this is a highly collectible electronic that's worth very little.... and at least you can still use an Atari... a RAZR or 3300 is pretty much useless.

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