Nokia’s 3310 phone has been relaunched nearly 17 years after its debut.
The revamped version will be sold under licence by the Finnish start-up HMDGlobal, which also unveiled several Nokia-branded Android smartphones.
One expert said it was a “Fantastic way” to relaunch Nokia’s phone brand.
“If HMD had just announced three Android devices they would have barely got a couple of column inches in the press.”So, the 3310 is a very clever move and we expect it will sell in significant volumes.
LG, Huawei and Lenovo are among others to have unveiled new devices.
Nokia no longer makes phones itself, but manufactures telecoms equipment,Ozo virtual reality cameras, and health kit under the Withings brand.
Long life The new 3310 qualifies as a “feature phone” rather than asmartphone as it only provides limited internet facilities.
It relies on 2.5G connectivity – which has slower data speeds than 3G or 4G –and is powered by the S30 operating system, which allows web browsing buthas a much smaller range of apps than Android or iOS. Its single camera isalso restricted to two megapixels.
Nokia 3310 Image caption The new 3310 weighs 79.6g and has a 2.4in displayHowever, its advantage over more powerful handsets is its battery life.
HMD says the colour-screened phone has up to a month’s standby time and delivers more than 22 hours of talk time.
Nokia 3310 Image caption The new Nokia 3310 comes with an updatedversion of Snake “It’s almost like a digital detox or a holiday phone,” HMD’schief executive Arto Nummela told the BBC. “If you want to switch off to anextent but you still need to have a [mobile] lifeline, it’s a brilliant solution.
“Why wouldn’t you buy this like candy? If you see this hanging on the shelf atthe checkout in a package, then you’d just buy it as an accessory.” Androidphones HMD also confirmed the Nokia 6 Android smartphone would be released worldwide following its China debut in January.
The firm showed off smaller, lower-range Nokia 5 and Nokia 3 models.
Taiwan’s Foxconn will manufacture the phones, which may offset concernsthat networks might have about HMD’s capacity to deliver.
“Foxconn – with its experience working with Apple and Samsung – is certainlythe standout device manufacturer,” commented Tim Coulling from the techresearch firm Canalys.
“It’s ability to help HMD go from small to large scale will be a critical factor intheir partnership.”It also means if HMD wants to locate manufacturing indifferent regions to take advantage of pockets of demand, that’s somethingFoxconn will allow them to achieve.
Another market watcher said HMD’s success was far from guaranteed.
“Resurrecting one of Nokia’s feature phone bestsellers seems like a goodbeachhead to attack the smartphone market.
Yes, the reboot of the Nokia 3310 is fun – and perhaps there is a huge audience for a return to a time when all you could do with a phone was makecalls and play Snake.
Make no mistake, if this piece of nostalgia is the future of the Nokia brandthen it is doomed.
Of course the smart team at HMD Global know that.
It is phones like the Nokia 6 – apparently already selling well in China – whichare key to any hopes of making the Finnish brand a force to be reckoned withagain.
Of course yet another slab of metal and glass running Android was nevergoing to excite the analysts and journalists tired of overblown launches wherethe words “Awesome” and “Revolutionary” are thrown around like confetti.
Hence the decision to remind us of Nokia’s glorious past, where everyoneseemed to have a phone with that familiar ringtone and nobody was asking toborrow a charger to get them through the day.
If the phone-buying public one now sees Nokia as a retro brand rather onewhich has been reinvigorated for the 4 and 5G future, then HMD may come to regret its 3310 gimmick.