Why More People Are Buying Old-School 'Brick' Phones Even If They Cost RM4,000

It's time to bring out your old Nokia 3310.

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Vintage phones are making a comeback as demand for it is reportedly on the increase

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Vintage mobile phones are making a comeback with consumers wanting longer battery life, tougher hardware and a phone that stands out from the smartphone crowd.

Many are very willing to pay a high price for it, fetching up to RM4,400 (1,000 Euros) per handset

Consumers just want to call and text rather than get complicated with smartphones

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They fit in a pocket, have batteries that last all week and are almost indestructible: old-school Nokias, Ericssons and Motorolas are making a comeback as consumers tired of fragile and overly-wired smartphones go retro. Forget apps, video calls and smiley faces, handsets like the Nokia 3310 or the Motorola StarTec 130 allows just basic text messaging and phone calls.

And many are willing to pay a high price for it since it is rare in the market

But demand for them is growing, according to reports out of Europe, where some of these second-hand models are fetching prices as high as 1000 euros ($1500) a piece.

"Some people don't blink at the prices, we have models at more than 1,000 euros. The high prices are due to the difficulty in finding those models, which were limited editions in their time," said Djassem Haddad, who started the site in 2009.

The main reason for this is that the ageing population wants a simpler phone while others want to stand out from the smartphone crowd

"The ageing population is looking for simpler phones, while other consumers want a second cheap phone," he said. Among the top-sellers on the website is the Nokia 8210, with a tiny monochrome screen and plastic buttons, at 59.99 euros.

The rise of vintage phones is also due to nostalgia, where one can 'revisit' what its like to own a piece of that technology in the 21st century

Nostalgia plays a big role in why vintage phones are making a comeback

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For Damien Douani, an expert on new technologies at FaDa agency, it is simply trendy now to be using the retro phone. There is "a great sensation of finding an object that we knew during another era – a little like paying for vintage sneakers that we couldn't afford when we were teenagers," Douani told AFP.

There is also "a logic of counter-culture in reaction to the over-connectedness of today's society, with disconnection being the current trend. That includes the need to return to what is essential and a basic telephone that is used only for making phone calls and sending SMSes," he added.

It is also about "being different. Today, everyone has a smartphone that looks just like another, while ten years ago, brands were much more creative".

Not into vintage phones? Why not consider Nokia's latest smartphone

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