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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15. 10. 2021

Mobile Phone Museum Features on BBC's Tech Tent

Underlining the growing worldwide media interest in the Mobile Phone Museum project, it was with great pleasure that our founder Ben Wood accepted an invitation from the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones to join him as a guest on the Tent Tech programme.

Broadcast live on the BBC World Service, which has a weekly listenership of approximately 279 million people around the world, and offered as a podcast via the BBC Sounds platform, Tech Tent delivers the biggest stories in tech from the BBC’s technology team.

Ben picked out some of his favourite phones from the museum collection such as the Vodafone VT1, Motorola 8000X, J-Phone JS04 and others sharing some stories about them with the audience.

You can find the interview 15 minutes into the programme by following this link.

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25. 09. 2021

Mobile Phone Museum Hits the Headlines

The Mobile Phone Museum burst into public view in September 2021 following the announcement of Vodafone UK's multi-year sponsorship agreement.

This resulted in widespread global media coverage including the prestigious Financial Times who published an article entitled: Mobile phone’s ‘golden era’ preserved in new museum - the article provided insights into the goals of the project and also highlighted some key devices in the collection.

In total, there were more than 300 media mentions across print and radio with pieces featured in the USA (Washington Times), Germany (Handelsblatt) and Austria (Kurier).

Other highlights included Sky News and the UK’s iNews which had an extensive feature on the Mobile Phone Museum.

It was also exciting to see that the project had caught the attention of the museum fraternity with a feature in Museums and Heritage Advisor

We have been overwhelmed with the interest and enthusiasm for the Mobile Phone Museum and look forward to 23 November 2021 when key members of the global media will be invited to attend the VIP launch.

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24. 09. 2021

Mobile Phone Museum Features on talkRADIO

As Content Director, I was recently approaced by talkRADIO to come on "Overnight with Paul Ross". We chatted about the upcoming launch of the Mobile Phone Museum in November, the evolution of the mobile phone and my favorite phone (the Nokia 8110). It was brilliant to promote the Museum and I look forward to returning once we've launched.

Listen to the interview below:

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22. 09. 2021

Multi-Year Sponsorship Deal with Vodafone UK Unveiled

In a landmark day for the Mobile Phone Museum, Vodafone UK announced that it has agreed to sponsor the project for five years.

Max Taylor, UK Consumer Director, Vodafone, said: “More than 35 years ago, Vodafone made the UK’s first mobile phone call on the Vodafone Transportable VT1, a handset which was the size of a car battery and weighed even more. Looking back at those early devices and everything which came later tells a fascinating story, not only of the technology itself and how it has evolved, but also of how we communicate. Our smartphones are now at the very centre of our world, and this is a fitting celebration of the role they play. We hope that by supporting Ben and Matt’s unique museum collection – the most comprehensive collection anywhere in the world – we’ll be able to help people reminisce about the devices they’ve had over the years, and  get excited about what devices might be able to do for them in the future.”

As you can imagine, we are hugely excited about having such an iconic partner. Furthermore, this agreement puts the project on a firm financial footing as we count-down to the official launch on 23 November and future milestone events such as an in-person London-based exhibition in 2025 to celebrate 40 years of mobile phones in the UK.

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13. 05. 2021

The Smartphone Revolution

If the history of mobile phones and the development of connected technology more broadly is a topic you are keen to learn more about, a new book that has just been published by long-time BBC chief technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones is worth a read.

Two major stories relating to the ascendency of smartphones are featured in the first two chapters of the book: the launch of the Apple iPhone in January 2007 and also the decline and eventual failure of Nokia Mobile Phones from 2011 onwards.

The Mobile Phone Museum's founder and co-curator, Ben Wood, was asked to fact-check the chapter entitled "The Smartphone Revolution" and is also quoted, commenting on the challenges that Nokia's brand faced during that period.

If you'd like to read the book you can find it here.

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