Mobile phones have appeared in movies since the 1980s, but which ones really made an impact?
Survey conducted by online retailer, Mobiles.co.ukhas revealed how mobile phone technology in modern cinema potentially affected sales in real life.
James Bond Casino Royale (Sony Ericsson K800i)
Sony Ericsson has been a go-to phone throughout the Bond series, starring in iconic films such as Tomorrow Never Dies and Daniel Craig’s first outing, Casino Royale. In the 21stst Bond film, released 16th November 2006, Craig wore a Sony Ericsson K800i (with a unique silver exterior)1.
Sony Ericsson sales rose by as much as £ 3.1 million in 2006, the year the film was released, and a further £ 1.6 million in 20072. After using it by the world’s biggest secret agent, Sony Ericsson saw this giant leap in sales, with customers around the world showing the brand a similar level of enthusiasm as 007 did.
The Matrix (Nokia 8110)
In 1999, the Nokia 8110 joined The Matrix. The slide-out phone was used by a young Keanu Reeves, an advanced device at the time (costing over £ 700)3. The film was released on the 11thth June 1999 with global success and critical acclaim, and the following year, the Nokia brand experienced a huge boost in sales.
In the year after the film (2000), Nokia had sales of £ 26.5 billion in net sales, an increase of £ 9.5 billion from the previous year (£ 17 billion).4 It seemed to be a common theme in the early 2000s for brands to see growth in the months following the movie heroes’ branding.
Iron Man 2 and The Social Network (LG VX9400)
The LG VX9400 appeared in two major blockbusters in 2010, Iron Man 2 (released 30)th April) and the Social Network (15th October). Known as a ‘wing’ flip phone, Tony Stark (Robert Downey-Junior) uses it in the opening scene of the Marvel movie.5
In the year the two films were released, LG’s mobile phone sales increased 11% quarter over quarter, with a total of 30.6 million handsets shipped.6 Iron Man is notorious for its advanced (usually fictitious) technology, and his enthusiasm was shared with LG customers.
Wall Street (Motorola DynaTAC)
The wealthy investor, Gordon Gekko, uses the famous Motorola DynaTAC in the American drama Wall Street, with Michael Douglas and Michael Sheen in the lead roles. The series of ‘brick’ phones used in the 80s and 90s were the first commercially available mobile phones and were sold for £ 2800.7
Wall Street was released in 1987, a year in which Motorola saw sales rise by a record 14% to £ 4.7 billion.8 The phone has appeared in particular in several other movies and TV shows over the years, such as American Psycho and Saved by the Bell.
The devil carries Prada
This classic Rom-Com, Devil Wears Prada, starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway, features the popular Motorola Razr flip phone, which quickly became a much-loved device in television and movies, including A Good Year, Lost and Prison Break.9
Following the release of the film in October 2006, Moto sales increased the following year (2007) by 42%, equivalent to as much as £ 1.5 million.10 It seems that customers were just as excited about Motorola as their idols on screen were.
It is safe to say that the film put flip phones on the map with a £ 497,000 increase in sales11and support from fashion icon Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep).
Andrew Cartledge, mobile expert at Mobiles.co.uk commented: “The influence that the film industry has had on pop culture is widespread in our everyday lives. Although we may not notice it, our consumption habits are influenced by what we see on our screens, and technology is an excellent example of that.
“Over the years, household names like Motorola and Nokia have been very visible on the big screen, which has ultimately affected the brand’s reputation and consumer consumption. Connecting Sony Ericsson with an iconic character like James Bond creates demand as consumers want their fingers crossed. in the model seen on screen so they can be like their heroes on screen. “
* All financial figures have been converted to GBP exactly per. 21/06/21