Waste mobile phones constitute one of the fastest growing Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) types all over the world due to technological innovations and shortening of their life span. They contain a complex mix of various materials, such as basic metals, precious metals and rare earth elements and represent an important secondary raw metal source. The main objectives of this study were to characterize the metal concentration of waste mobile phones by optimizing the inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES) operation parameters and estimate the metal recovery potential of waste mobile phones in Turkey. Therefore, selected mobile phone samples collected from a recycling center in Turkey were analyzed to determine their metal concentrations. Then, the theoretical recovery potentials of precious and rare earth metals from waste mobile phones were estimated for Turkey. The analytical methods optimized in this study can help further research activities to obtain comprehensive data for determination of the critical metals (precious metals and rare earth elements) in WEEE samples so that proper recycling and recovery strategies can be selected and implemented.