What Do You Do With Your Old Mobile Phones?

Update mania and the ever-falling price of phones makes it unsurprising that many of us own more than one mobile. A survey by mobile phone buyback site Bounce Mobile suggests there are 9.4 million unused phones sitting in drawers around Australia. Where do you sit on that spectrum?

Mobile phone photo from Shutterstock

As a tech writer, I get access to a lot of test mobiles, but that doesn't mean I have a lot of spares. The majority are sent back after being reviewed; if I do get to keep one, a friend or relative will normally beg for a replacement before too long. The other thing I've found: nobody wants an old, minimally functional phone.

How do you handle your old phones? Do you keep them in a drawer for emergencies, sell them to help fund an upgrade, send them off to a recycling scheme, or pass them on to friends or family? Tell us in the comments.


    I've been using my old Nokia 6220c as a camera for work, but the battery is pretty much shot now.. Now only takes about 10 photos (with Flash) before dying.
    My Galaxy S is very, very occasionally used as a xbmc remote.

    Usually give it to my wife. She'll be getting my 4s as soon as I get my 5s and we'll just use her cheap Android as a backup. I've also kept my old 3Gs to use as a movie player when we travel - no big deal if it's lost or broken at this stage.

    Last edited 19/08/13 10:00 am

    I have a wonderful shelf of antique technology in my garage. One day my NEC Sportz analogue phone from 1998 will be worth something!

    I try to turn them over so the previous model still has some life and then flog on eBay. It's amazing what you can get for well looked after tech with a good write up and some clear photos.

    There are lots of really great local charities that you can donate your old phones to who in turn recycle them and use the profits to fund their organisations. I donated my last few phones to youcan.org.au, CanTeen's phone donation service and I'd recommend the same to anyone else.

    I keep it charged and ready in case the new one is "fubar" or stolen or out of power or I just need it for something or I sit on it (happened b4). After that it gets re purposed and it might end up looking like Frankenstein after I hack it to do something else. Last one became solar powered ip cam with reasonable battery life, bummer about night vision - that could be the next one. Next project, automate my garage door, lights, sensors and siren.

    'Aussie recycling program' has a full list of charities they support:
    You can drop off or mail your phone to the charity of your choice.
    This is way better than mobilemuster because Aussie recycling program will re-use the phone if it is still OK (or reuse parts of the phone to repair other phones) whereas Mobilemuster always just trash the phone for the recyclable metals etc.

    I use my old Nokia E71 as a music player and also for Telstra prepaid when travelling in remote areas of Australia where my Vodafone doesn't work

    I collect all types of analogue mobile phones, I think they are very cool & collectable.
    I also have a special test set so I can actually still use them on my own local network.
    If anyone has any analogue phones they don't want, please let me know.

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