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This video about Irish mobile phone usage in 2006 on RTÉ Archives is peak Celtic Tiger

“A lot of people have one phone for during the week, and another for the weekend.”

PastedImage-46731 Apple could never. Source: RTÉ

IT’S SAFE TO say that we were all living in a completely different world in 2006.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget the extent of it, but a quick browse on RTÉ Archives proves that Ireland had really, really lost the run of itself a decade ago.

We’d never get away with the stuff they did back then (like inventing a TV show called No Frontiers just so Kathryn Thomas would get to go on loads of holidays).

Presenter Pamela Flood opens up the segment about mobile phones from the grounds outside of The CHQ Building in Dublin’s IFSC (which eventually proved to be another overestimation of Ireland’s good fortune — in 2017, it’s little more than a glorified food court).

Amused, she reveals the cumbersome old mobile phones of years gone by.


Once upon a time… Mobile phones looked just like this.

In 2017, house phones don’t even look like that anymore. She continues to note the ways mobile phones had advanced in 2006.

All we had them for was taking and making calls. But today, they do so much more. They’re not just handsets… They’re fashion accessories. In some cases, even status symbols.

Now we’re getting to the good stuff. Next up, there’s a montage of vibrant young Irish people pretending to take photos of their friends (Seriously, the screen is black. Do you take us for fools?) and making phone calls, which were presumably also fake.


Note the casual placement of the Chanel shopping bag on the table too.


Tara Blake, Head of Marketing from Carphone Warehouse fills us in on the staggering number of mobile phones being used in Ireland.

Amazingly, there are 4.5 million mobiles active in Ireland at the moment, which means that some people have more than one handset.

Nope, it’s not what you’re thinking. They weren’t all burners owned by the extremely busy cocaine dealers of the time.

PastedImage-38925 Source: RTÉ

Tara explained:

Well, [it is] mainly for fashion, I suppose. A lot of people have a work phone and they have one then that they use for the weekends, which is more of a ‘fashion pretty’ phone. All major phone manufacturers now have a fashion range.
They’ve brought that out simply because they’ve realised there’s a huge demand out there. It’s not a functional mobile phone that anybody wants now — it’s a fashion accessory, essentially.

PastedImage-99585 Source: RTÉ

She’s dead right. Anybody remember those stick phones? They were the least functional phones ever made. They were completely ridiculous.

Perhaps the stupidest one was the Elle ‘Glamphone’. Before front cameras had been conceived, someone had the idea of making a flip phone with a mirror screen.

fashion Source: RTÉ

Tara then adds that people who want a nice phone are willing to pay ‘any price’.

People were paying up to €1,000 for gold Nokias. Would you be well?

PastedImage-48697 Source: RTÉ

The two woman go on to discuss the growing importance of exclusivity on the mobile phone market. Dolce and Gabbana released a gold Motorola RZR and many other designers followed. Remember how popular Ted Baker phones were?

Anyway, the video takes an extremely strange turn towards the end, showing two Irish cowgirls who had come of age during the beginning of the millennium, with mobile phones holstered to various (completely impractical) body parts.



You can’t even say “Ah… Simpler times” because none of this is simple. The simpler times are now because we’ve basically only got two options on the mobile phone market.

You can watch the full video here.

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About the author:

Kelly Earley

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