Nokia hasn’t had a hit phone in a while - and the glory days of its 1990s dominance seem like they happened in a different universe.
But in one corner of the UK phone market, it’s 1999 forever.
Vice UK has reported from “multiple sources” that the number one phone among drug dealers in the UK is… the Nokia 8210.
Yes, that one.
Vice reporter Steve Zacharanda writes that the phone - which features no Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC or GPS - has become a default choice for black market businesspeople since it is so difficult to track.
One of the key reasons is that the 8210 does have infra-red, which means you can swap information quickly if you need to swap phones.
One drug dealer called “K2” told Vice:
“Every dealer I know uses old phones, and the Nokia 8210 is the one everyone wants because of how small it is and how long the battery lasts. And it was the best phone when it came out. I couldn't afford one in Jamaica back in the day, but now I've got four.”
The dealers might want to rethink their IT policies though. While it's true that the 8210 lacks some of the advanced location tracking of newer phones, it's still possible for police to locate a phone based on which mobile towers it uses when making calls, and to implicate someone in a crime based on who they called and when...
Either way, it’s worth reading the full story, though it’s also funny to compare it to this piece from the Mail published back in May about the surprising popularity of the ‘retro’ device. We have a feeling we know who is paying £30 a time for them on eBay, and it isn’t just hipsters.