Since his screen debut in 1962’s Dr. No, British secret agent James Bond has been on the cutting edge of technology. Most of it has come courtesy of gadget mastermind Q, but not even MI6 could do much to improve on the design of an Apple iPhone.
Yet Bond has never been filmed with the device. Beginning with 2006’s Casino Royale, Daniel Craig has been seen primarily with Sony products (which is fitting, as Sony distributes the Bond films). In the latest entry, 2021’s No Time to Die, the agent does most of his checking in on a Nokia. So what gives? Why isn’t Bond committing state-sanctioned homicides while listening to his iTunes playlist?
The in-universe answer is relatively simple to understand. As WIRED explains, it would simply be too easy to track Bond’s whereabouts on an iPhone, which doesn’t exactly have a user’s privacy at the forefront of its features.
But isn’t that also true of Nokia? Yes, with one key difference. The company struck a deal with Sony to have its brand featured in No Time to Die, making it a financially sound choice for Craig to sport. Plus, the specific Nokia in the film, the XR20, is said to be highly durable and scuff-resistant—perfect for a user who regularly gets into fistfights and gunfights and finds himself dangerously close to massive explosions.
This doesn’t mean Apple and Bond are at odds. In October 2022, Apple TV+ plans to air The Sound of 007, a documentary looking at how music has influenced the Bond franchise. Perhaps that will open the door for a future 007 to operate on iOS.