Here's how much old iconic phones would cost in today's money

Here's how much old iconic phones would cost in today's money
$10,000 is a considerable amount of money, there's no denying that. It is enough to buy you 2803 Big Macs, 83 years worth of Kindle Unlimited service, 4448 gallons of gas, or a lovely trip to an exotic destination for you and the whole family. Yet surely, you wouldn't spend 10 grand on a cell phone. That would be ridiculous.

Back in the '80s, however, that's how much it cost to own a portable cell phone. Well, kind of. The Dynatac 8000X by Motorola, for example, was priced at "only" $3995. But when inflation is taken into account, this figure grows to over 9000 in today's U.S. dollars. 

See the price equivalents of other notable vintage specimens in the slideshow below!


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13 Comments

1. sgodsell

Posts: 7621; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Brings back memory of my old brick phone. I am dating myself now.

2. darkkjedii

Posts: 31765; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

My first cell phone was made by Tandy, and sold at Radio Shack circa 1991(2).

3. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

Nokia 9000 Communicator was the first real smartphone and pocket PC.

4. oscar786

Posts: 2; Member since: Feb 18, 2011

Motorola Star track, was mine and paid $1000 for it.

5. dorianb

Posts: 617; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Ah, the StarTAC. I remember it well.

7. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I started off with an updated version of the Motorola MicroTac, the 650e, and a variant of the StarTac, the Timeport. After that i went back and forth between Nokia and Motorola until my first smartphone, the HTC Incredible.

8. dancheung77

Posts: 202; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

Wow, my dad was using one of them back in the 80's and those babies were that expensive? My first one was one of the Motorola with credit card size sim card that you insert from the bottom, anyone know what I'm talking about? It was when Pac bell first introduced GSM network in the west coast back in 96 I think.... Man, almost 20 years now, I feel old:D

9. p51d007

Posts: 705; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

My boss bought all of us field techs the brick, back in the day. I still have my Motorola Star Tac, the box and all. Wonder if it is worth anything. Friend of mine worked for Alltel at the time, and he just gave me about 6 antennas. I kept snagging them on things and breaking them.

11. SPASE

Posts: 261; Member since: May 03, 2013

My first was the Motorola 9800XL, set me back $3000 1988, mobiles have come a long way since then.

12. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Yeah....that's just scary.

13. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

STill better than all this Vertu and luxury phones $hit.

16. iguanasteve

Posts: 8; Member since: Aug 08, 2013

Daaaamn, what the hell happened from 1987 to 1989, the difference between the Mobira Cityman 900 and the Motorola MicroTAC 9800X is huge!

17. LRSousa

Posts: 43; Member since: Jun 20, 2014

Aliens, of course.

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