Market value of “buried mobile phone” sleeping at home ¥ 2.1 trillion 20 September 21 20:21


Economic experts summed up the estimate that the market value of mobile phones and smartphones nationwide that are no longer used by replacement and sleeping at home will be about 2.1 trillion yen.

The calculation was performed by Professor Katsuhiro Miyamoto from Kansai University, who has analyzed familiar events from an economic perspective, such as “Economic effect of winning the Hanshin Tigers” and “Loss of Ekata-waste disposal”, and a used smartphone. Is a private company "Geo" that purchases and sells

Professor Emeritus Miyamoto named personal mobile phones and smartphones stored at home as “buried mobile phones” that are no longer used for replacement, and estimated the number based on national white papers and industry association data. Did.

As a result, the estimated number of “buried mobile phones” in Japan is about 130 million for smartphones and about 80 million for mobile phones of the type called “Garakei”.

As a result of multiplying this number by the average purchase price at the store, we estimated that the market value of “buried mobile phones” totaled approximately ¥ 2.1 trillion.

Even if only the value of rare metals such as gold, silver, and palladium contained in electronic boards of mobile phones and smartphones is estimated, it will be about 46 billion yen.

Regarding the reason why the market value of “buried mobile phone” exceeded 2 trillion yen, Professor Emeritus Miyamoto said, “Smartphones have become sophisticated and their value will not drop even in the second-hand market. “If you do n’t use it, it ’s probably because you do n’t want to give up your device.”

Buying used smartphones "Personal information" measures

When you let go of your smartphone or mobile phone, you are concerned about personal information such as photos and emails that you have stored inside.

The private company “Geo”, which is engaged in buying and selling used smartphones, confirms on the spot that the original owner's data has been erased.

In addition, we collect collected smartphones and use special software to prevent data from being restored.

The software used is a mechanism that prevents the previous owner's data from being physically read by overwriting digital data in the smartphone's internal memory.

This company means that it erases data on about 100,000 used devices such as smartphones on average every month, and sells it to the next user.

Mr. Kento Totsuka, Geo ’s manager, said, “Since personal information is leaked, we have a very strict eye on it, so that both sellers and buyers can feel at ease. I ’m working on erasure. ”

“Built-in mobile” is “urban mine”

Mobile phones and smartphones that are often `` buried '' at home after they are no longer used, but the electronic board inside contains rare metals such as gold and silver, and these metals can be recovered if treated properly It is also called “urban mine”.

At the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to be held next year, the collection of mobile phones and small home appliances is being promoted nationwide in an attempt to produce approximately 5,000 gold, silver, and bronze medals used in the tournament from “urban mines”. A sufficient amount was collected.

There are several factories in Japan that extract rare metals from urban mines. Among these factories, the Asahi Pretech factory in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, conducts business to extract rare metals such as gold from old smartphones and mobile boards. .

In the process of extracting rare metals, a large amount of recovered substrates are crushed into small pieces using a machine and then dissolved in chemicals.

This time, I was able to cover only the first finely pulverized work, and what kind of equipment and chemicals to use in the subsequent process had its own know-how and was a trade secret.

Although there are some differences depending on the type of terminal, in the end, about 0.03 grams of gold can be recovered from the substrate of a mobile phone or smartphone, which is about three times the amount of gold that can be taken out from the same weight of a computer substrate. That is.

Asahi Pretec Kazuhiro Sakamoto said, “Mobile boards with a high percentage of gold are high-quality and valuable from the perspective of“ urban mines. ”The collected gold is once again produced by electronic board manufacturers and jewelry. I feel that the demand is increasing as the products are shipped to the companies that are sold. "

Memory resurrection service in mobile

According to the survey results announced by the general association “Telecommunications Carriers Association” and others, the most common reason for having mobile terminals that are not used as communication devices, so-called “buried mobile phones” 25% is "not easy to let go" but then 20.9% are "attached to the terminal and store it as a memory", and the third place is "I have data that I want to save, such as photos and e-mails. I couldn't do it "was 18.4%.

In response to these voices of “I want to migrate data,” a major telecommunications company, “KDDI”, has been conducting an event nationwide to revive old mobile phones for free since two years ago.

Mobiles that do not turn on often have only a battery exhausted, and there are many cases where the data remains. If the battery can be restored using a dedicated device, the data can be retrieved with a probability of 70%.

In the middle of this month, an event held at a shopping mall in Yao City, Osaka brought two mobile phones that housewives in their 40s used for about 10 years and 4 years ago. When the person in charge checked the status and used a special device, the battery was restored and turned on, and we were able to take out the pictures of the two children who were still on their phones.

The woman said, “I'm really grateful that the data has been revived. I'm glad that the memories remain in this way. I have to transfer the data quickly.”

When asked, “If I can copy my memory photo, I can let go of my mobile phone?” The woman asked, “I still can't let go. The mobile phone was supposed to be a communication tool, just a communication device. Now, I feel that it has become something more than that, ”he said, and his feelings about the mobile phone itself became stronger and he talked about feelings that could not be easily released.