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British public hoarding £6.8 billion of used mobiles

Sam Loveridge


Smartphone Recycling
Smartphone Recycling

British smartphone users are hoarding £6.86 billion worth of unused mobile phones in their homes, research from gadget recycling price comparison site, SellMyMobile.com has revealed.

According to the research, the average Brit has two unused mobiles languishing in their homes, with 77.9 per cent having at least one unused handset and 33.7 per cent admitting to having three or more devices lurking in their drawers.

The site claims that the average handset can fetch £75 when recycled online, despite being covered in dust. British phone-hoarding is partly due to idleness as nearly a fifth (19.26 per cent) of surveyed Brits said they couldn’t be bothered to get rid of their old devices. Another fifth (18.7 per cent) confessed they weren’t sure of the recycling options when it came to disused handsets.

“In today’s tough economic climate, some extra cash can make all the difference. So it’s surprising that we are literally sitting on a potential goldmine stashed away in boxes at home,” Colin White, MD for SellMyMobile.com said.

The study showed that some Brits are using phone recycling services to cash in on their old tech as 20.6 per cent of Brits claimed to have used online gadget recycling sites, 11.1 per cent selling them direct to a new buyer on the internet, and 5.8 per cent to high street retailers.

The most popularly recycled handset is the iPhone 4 16GB model, usually fetching around £139 from phone recycling sites, and the BlackBerry Curve 8520, selling for an average £54.

A fifth (17.1 per cent) of those surveyed said they chose to donate their now unwanted phones to friends and family members instead of leaving them in drawers or cupboards.

Highlighting a fear of identity theft, 14.9 per cent of British phone users surveyed said they were worried about the personal data contained on their smartphones, unable or not sure of how to wipe memory cards and handsets clean.

“There are so many companies willing to pay good money for consumers looking to recycle their old phone, and they all offer tips and advice if you are unsure about how to send it off, or how to wipe old data from your phone,” added White.

Do you have old mobiles in your home? Have you ever sold an old handset or tablet online? Let us know in the comment section below.


January 29, 2013, 8:48 pm

My old HTC Touch HD2 would fetch £49, and I would think it's above average.

Presumably their £6.8 billion figure was based on that £75 'average'.

They've put out this story to get people to go onto their site, which would be fine if their figures weren't bull.


January 29, 2013, 9:32 pm

Advertorial? Most of these mobile phone recycling sites offer so little it's just not only not worth the effort it's plain insulting too. I'd rather give my old phone/s away or keep them for the times when my current phone is inoperative.

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