Hollywood has always had a thing for the latest gadgets and technology as a whole. These days mobile phone appearances in movies aren’t rare in the slightest – especially with all the product placement that takes place in the American media. However, if we go back a few years, we saw some pretty impressive applications for handsets that really got the mind going!
We felt that this was the ideal time to unleash our top 10 mobile phone appearances, and “applications”(you’ll see what we mean shortly), in the movies. So, without further adieu...
The Motorola MicroTAC 9800X was the first mobile phone to have a “flip”, as we discussed in our recent 10 Game Changing Mobile Phones article. However, it also enjoyed a fairly sustained period in the spotlight, making appearances in many early 1990’s films such as Hook and Reservoir Dogs.
Robin Williams, while playing the role of Peter Banning, uses the mobile in Hook while conducting some business and generally building the character’s profile for the audience – a businessman first, a father second. Freddy in Reservoir Dogs also uses the chunky ‘little’ handset through the movie.
The Nokia N8 was used as the sole camera for the recording of the feature length movie Olive which was released in 2011. This was the first time that a feature length movie had been shot with a smartphone and has since lead to many people picking up the idea and running with it as a method to reduce production costs.
While the software that runs the 12 megapixel camera did have to be altered somewhat to remove features like the autofocus, it was considered to be a success for the mobile industry and a sign of how far the technology had come in such a short period of time.
Motorola were definitely pitching the R310 as a phone for the outdoorsy kind of person, so when they had the chance to get their phone in the hands of Angelina Jolie who was to portray Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider, we imagine they were doing cartwheels around the office.
The handset is seen throughout the movie, with Lara Croft taking in absolutely everywhere with her. Naturally, no matter what Lara throws at it, the phone continues to work flawlessly throughout. Perhaps a bit of an exaggeration of its toughness but we’ll buy into whatever Angelina wants us to.
Just like all of the mobile phones from the late eighties through to the mid nineties, the Blackberry Bold is predominantly targeting the businessman who needs to keep his finger on the pulse – no matter where he is or what he’s doing. So, when Peter Highman (played by Robert Downey Jr) is traveling on business and suddenly needs to get back home for his child’s birth, it’s no surprise that he’s depending on a Blackberry Bold 9000 to keep upto date.
Unfortunately, when you’re driving across America with any character played by Zach Galifianakis, things are never going to go as smoothly as you’d like. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that we see plenty of the Bold 9000 throughout the movie.
After Samsung saw what The Matrix did for Nokia, as well as their 8110 and 7110 models, it’s no surprise that they were so keen to get their handset in the sequel. Unfortunately, they did miss a trick or two when it comes to getting the same results as Nokia.
The handset featured in the movie wasn’t actually released at the time, so consumers presumed that they would be getting a phone that would be identical to the one that they had seen in the Hollywood blockbuster. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and many purchasers were disappointed. Nonetheless, the phone’s appearance in the movie was pretty awesome.
James Bond is the ultimate marketing tool for any gadget or high end item that the companies want to get men frothing at the mouth for. Watches, cars, clothes and mobile phones are just some of the items that have been featured in the secret agents arsenal of awesomeness.
The Sony Xperia T appeared in the 2012 blockbuster SkyFall and was warmly received by critics and customers alike.
The Apple iPhone 4 featured heavily in Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, along with a number of other apple products. In fact, their presence was so heavy that there was a lot of speculation as to whether it was all down to product placement. Apple, of course, strongly denied that they had anything to do with it – the company have previously claimed they don’t even have a product placement department!
Nonetheless, no matter what Tom Cruise needed to do at any given time during the movie, there appeared to be an app for that. None of this seemed out of the question until I saw Tom Cruise taking a call in the middle of a desert in Dubai, during a sandstorm no less! How could this even be remotely possible when I can’t even get a clear call in a living room Hertfordshire, a few miles from London?!
Regardless, we’re not buying into any of their nonsense on this occasion because we found this old gem from the media frenzy surrounding the first movie:
Sony Ericsson make their 2nd appearance in our list, this time with the R380 prototype that featured in Tomorrow Never Dies, during which Pierce Brosnan uses it to remotely drive his car! We say remotely, it was from the backseat… but that’s still pretty impressive stuff!
Obviously people weren’t expecting to go out, buy this phone and get the same sort of features, like some of the Samsung SPH-N270 purchasers were. Instead, we saw an interest in the prototype that drove it to market in the form of the R380.
The world’s first commercial mobile phone. It was big, chunky and would have caused some serious damage if dropped on your foot from anything above waist height. Nonetheless, being the alpha males that they are, Michael Douglas and Chris Penn lifted this colossal unit multiple times throughout the movie.
The image of Michael Douglas, strolling down the beach, with the DynaTAC in hand and delivering his speech to a young Charlie Sheen has become iconic on so many different levels. So, it’s fair to say that it deserves its place at #2 on our list.
This was always an absolute no brainer. The Matrix was one of the most successful movies of all time and grabbed the attention of the world during a period where technology was really starting to enter our lives in a way that we had never previously thought possible.
However, there was nothing truly remarkable about the Nokia 8110 is we’re all honest. Yes, it was a high end mobile but there were plenty more out there with practically all of its features. The real feature that had everyone talking wasn’t even something that the actual mobile came with! The spring loaded “flip” that slid out as you answered a call was something added to the unit specifically for the movie.
However, due to its success and the overwhelming demand from the public for the feature, the Nokia 7110 was released some time later that finally allowed people to pretend that they too wore long black trench coats and answered phone calls in immense style.