03. 07. 2022

Nothing to See Here!

To coincide with the launch activities of a new, disruptive smartphone from intriguingly named connected device maker Nothing, our founder Ben Wood was interviewed for a "teaser film" that featured on YouTube and other social media channels (see below).

At the time of this blog being posted, the episode had already had over 750,000 views with interest rapidly building in the Nothing venture that has been set up by entrepreneur, Carl Pei. Mr Pei was previously one of the co-founders of smartphone brand OnePlus, some of whose phones are already included in the Mobile Phone Museum collection.

Ben reflected on phone design, the challenges of bringing a new phone to market, and also showcased some of the museum collection including the iconic Nokia N-Gage and the Bosch 509e – which we believe to be one of the first phones to feature a translucent plastic casing. This was important as the Nothing phone (1) has a translucent back cover. We hope the Nothing device will soon become the latest addition to the Mobile Phone Museum collection.

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31. 05. 2022

Mobile Phones: The Antiques of the Future?

As interest in the Mobile Phone Museum project continues to grow, the team was delighted to have its founder, Ben Wood, appear on Channel 5. This is the UK’s third largest commercial channel, which is owned by ViacomCBS Networks International. The channel claims an audience reach of 40 million viewers every month.

Some of the museum’s collection was featured as part of an “antiques of the future” slot. Ben discussed the growing interest in vintage mobile phones from the last 35 years and the upwards trend in prices of particularly rare and iconic models.

For those in the UK, the show will be available on demand until 22 November 2026 and the segment featuring the Mobile Phone Museum can be found at 30 mins and 33 seconds.

If you are a media company interested in historic mobile phones or antiques of the future and would like to feature our colletion or spokespeople, please contact the Mobile Phone Museum team on media@mobilephonemuseum.com

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24. 12. 2021

2021 – A Breakthrough Year for the Mobile Phone Museum

The end of the year provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made with the Mobile Phone Museum project in 2021. To be honest we’ve exceeded all our wildest expectations and the reception to the initiative has been phenomenal.

After years of planning, and months of hard work building and populating the museum website, the venture was officially launched at a memorable in-person event in Soho, London.

None of this would have been possible without the fantastic support from our lead sponsor, Vodafone UK, and a highlights video is embedded below which provides a snapshot of the launch event.

The launch event helped generate plenty of publicity for the Mobile Phone Museum with major media outlets such as the BBC covering the museum. Furthermore, the initiative also got noticed by people in the museum world, including this excellent article by the Museums + Heritage Advisor.

Thanks to generous donations from industry friends and members of the public we have managed to add nine of our “most wanted” devices to the collection and we have also increased the number of devices by a further 200 phones.

Other highlights included being approved by the Charity Commission with a designation covering education, training, arts, culture, heritage and science.

We also secured an entry on Wikipedia.

As we enter 2022, we will continue enhancing the collection, adding high quality imagery and completing write-ups for key products that have been added. Furthermore, we hope to expand our education programme with some pilot school visits planned for January 2022 (subject to Covid restrictions). We’ll also be focusing on fundraising to further develop the museum and expand its reach.

We’d like to thank everyone involved in the project for their support this year.

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17. 12. 2021

Mobile Phone Museum Supports Young Collector

Following the Mobile Phone Museum launch event and the subsequent coverage on the BBC, we were contacted by aspiring mobile phone enthusiast, Lewis E, who asked if he could visit the Museum.

Lewis had been collecting phones for some time and was keen to learn more about the wide range of devices in the museum.

Given the pop-up exhibition was for one night only we were not able to arrange a visit, but our education team arranged for Lewis to be sent a few of the duplicate devices from the museum archive.

We were delighted to receive this picture of Lewis (below) and a lovely note from his Mum saying how excited he was to hear from us. Lewis, who has a rapidly expanding collection, has been using the Mobile Phone Museum website to research the phones he currently owns as well as identify phones he would like to add to his collection in future.

He has also been taking some of his phones to school in order to showcase them to fellow pupils and his teachers.

We wish Lewis the best of luck with his collection and hopefully one day he’ll be able to join the Mobile Phone Museum team to help us research some of the phones where we still need write-ups and also help us identify key phones that are missing from the collection.

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28. 11. 2021

BBC Features Mobile Phone Museum

In an extensive interview with our founder, Ben Wood, recorded at the Museum’s launch event in London, the BBC’s Chris Fox discussed four key categories in the collection: Ugly phones, devices featured in the Movies, phones that were Firsts and Best Selling mobiles.

The Nokia 7600 was selected as a phone from the Ugly collection and Ben discussed the unique keypad which proved a challenge when it came to sending text messages and making phone calls.

Chris was astonished to see that the Mobile Phone Museum had the Ericsson JB988 in its collection. This specially commissioned model, which featured in the James Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies, was made by talented modelmakers Phase Two Design who created it from scratch. You can see a fascinating “making of” video here.

Jb988 Spikes

When looking at phones that represented “Firsts” the obvious candidate was the Vodafone VT1 – the phone that was used to make the first phone call in the UK on 1 January 1985.

Chris also picked out other notable devices from the collection and conducted an interview, with Nils Martensson, the founder of UK based phone maker Technophone. Nils’ company created the first “pocketable” mobile phone back in 1986 – the Technophone Excell PC105T.

The museum launch event was also attended by recently retired BBC tech legend, Rory Cellan-Jones. He wrote a lovely piece about the museum which can be found here.

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23. 11. 2021

Mobile Phone Museum Launches With One-Night London Exhibition

• The Mobile Phone Museum launches to the world today, making the history of innovation available to everyone for free at mobilephonemuseum.com

• Five-year sponsor Vodafone joins forces with museum founders to host industry launch exhibition in London

• Collection celebrates history of mobile phones and aims to educate the next generation of telecom industry professionals who will shape the mobile phones of the future and continue to develop the role of smartphones in our daily lives

• Launch event exhibition to be attended by local primary school to help inspire the next generation of engineers and designers

The Mobile Phone Museum has officially gone live today, showcasing a comprehensive history of thousands of notable and iconic devices, spanning back to 1984.

The launch will be celebrated with an exhibition in London’s Soho, co-hosted by five-year sponsor Vodafone, and attended by prominent figures from the mobile industry.

From today, everybody can explore and learn about hundreds of the museum's collection of more than 2,100 unique handsets on the museum's website. Many of the catalogued handsets exhibited in the collection are detailed in high-resolution images and come with supporting background information, featuring technical specifications alongside interesting stories about the device's design, development, features and launch.

The idea for the museum was born in 2004 but it was in 2019, when founder Ben Wood joined forces with fellow mobile industry veteran Matt Chatterley, that the vision started to gather pace and the pair used their industry connections to add rare and iconic devices to the collection.

The launch exhibition, organised and backed by the museum's partner Vodafone, showcased many of the museum's most fascinating and unusual devices, with displays curated into thematic zones mirroring the museum's online exhibits: movies, fashion and culture, the 80s, and a special section on firsts — including the first mobile phones to launch landmark features such as cameras, Internet browsing, apps and e-mail.

As well as forming a fascinating collection in their own right, the museum's exhibits are also an important history lesson about the impact of technology and design on social culture, behaviour and communication. For these reasons, and to help inspire the next generation of mobile industry engineers and designers, founder Ben Wood will welcome a Year 2 class and their teacher from nearby Soho Parish primary school to come and see the exhibition at first hand on launch day. The children will hear a ‘show and tell’ from Ben and the Mobile Phone Museum education team, revealing some interesting facts about the devices we see around us every day and highlighting the increasing importance of sustainability in their design and use.

Ben Wood, who is also Chief Analyst at technology research firm CCS Insight, said, "This all started as a passion project over 25 years ago, so it's immensely exciting to work with Vodafone to launch the museum and to see so many industry veterans and other friendly faces at the exhibition. None of this would have been possible without the extraordinary generosity and effort of a handful of eager volunteers, donors and sponsors, so I want to thank them sincerely for their contributions.

"No other invention in recent memory has shaped how we live more fundamentally than the mobile phone. From mobile payments to citizen journalism, always-on social media and the ability to work anywhere, it's difficult to overstate the importance of the mobile phone. It's a privilege to be able to recognise and celebrate the devices and people who have made such a significant contribution to the world, as we preserve that history and make it available to all by launching the Mobile Phone Museum today."

The Mobile Phone Museum project has also been generously supported by other companies, including technology research firm CCS Insight and mobile technology recovery and distribution experts Genuine Solutions.


Notes to Editors

About the Mobile Phone Museum

The Mobile Phone Museum is a registered charity (charity number: 1196658), created to safeguard mobile phones and related devices from the past 35 years, as well as develop an education programme to raise awareness of how mobile phones have evolved. Its collection currently comprises over 2,100 unique devices from more than 200 manufacturers that chart the evolution of mobile phones from 1984 to the present day.

It is uniquely positioned as a leading repository of significant devices, recording their history with the help of the extensive network of contacts its founders have throughout the mobile phone industry. Initially, the project has launched as an online showcase, but in future the team hopes to work with a leading museum and other sponsors to curate pop-up exhibits of its devices.

For further media enquiries contact: media@mobilephonemuseum.com

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