Last year audiences flocked to see James Bond mark his 50 year cinema history in Skyfall.
Boasting fast action, great lines and reintroducing of some familiar names (if not faces), the film also paid homage to the franchises’s love of gadgets with some sly references including Q’s mention of exploding pens and a radio tracker which looked pretty much like the one Sean Connery used in Goldfinger.
From the Aston Martin DB5 through to his laser-packing Omega watch, via Little Nellie and his submersible Lotus Esprite, Bond’s cinema outings have long been memorable for the gadgets that helped him save the day.
But the character’s longevity means that for most of his career, James lacked access to that most basic staple of everyday life – the mobile phone.
The earliest cordless phone to appear in the franchise is probably to be seen in Timothy Dalton’s debut, The Living Daylights.
Having escaped assassination on the Rock of Gibraltar, Bond finds himself landing on a yacht inhabited by a lonely sunbather. Grabbing her cordless phone he calls HQ, promises a situation update in an hour, glances at the beauty in front him before adding: ‘better make that two’.
As befits 007’s status as a fashionable man around town, when he finally did get a mobile phone it was a world away from the devices on sale in the local high street.
Tomorrow Never Dies featured a concept phone built by Ericsson which included a 20,000 volt stun gun, a fingerprint scanner and lock pick. Plus it handily doubled-up as a remote control for Bond’s BMW.
2002’s Die Another Day featured two Sony Ericsson mobiles, the T68i and the PDA/phone hybrid P800, used by Bond’s ally Jinx (Hale Berry) and villain Colonel Moon respectively.
The arrival of Daniel Craig in Casino Royale coincided with Bond’s nest on-screen use of a mobile, this time a Sony Ericsson K800 which included the hardly impressive by today’s standard GPS and 3.2 megapixel digital camera.
The disappointing Quantum of Solace saw Bond upgrade to a customised Sony Ericsson C902. Unlike the retail model, 007’s had built in facial recognition and a hot link to the MI6 intranet. Let’s hope he remembers to turn data roaming off while on his travels.
Last year’s Skyfall saw the franchise return to form and Britain’s best secret agent packing the Sony Xperia T.
While 007 probably had to accept whatever Q Branch were handing out that week, real-life customers looking to pick up the 4.6” screen, Android phone were able to take their pick from a couple of enticing offers, including from Phones4U who offered a free Sony SmartWatch to savvy shoppers which linked to the phone via Bluetooth to check messages and see who was calling.
By the way, have you ever wondered why Bond prefers Sony mobile phones?
The entertainment giant’s studio division are one of the franchise’s financial backers, which is why you’re unlikely to see 007 packing an iPhone 5 or calling on Siri to get him out of a tough spot anytime soon.