The epic, sturdy, almost historic Nokia 3310 might be making an unexpected comeback. HMD Global Oy, the Finnish manufacturer that bought the rights to market phones under the Nokia brand from Microsoft, will reportedly launch a new version of the Nokia 3310.
What’s the first mobile phone you ever owned? If you’re over 25, the odds are it’s a Nokia 3310. The legendary model was launched by then giants Nokia in 2000. It was compact, sturdy, and had a huge battery life. Its resilience was so widely recognized that it even became a meme and a national emoji for Finland. Even as Nokia went down, the legacy of the 3310 remained untouched and to this day, it’s arguably the best phone ever made (for its time). But a rehash, a modern version? Uh, I’m not really sure what to say.
The new phone will be launched Feb. 26, when HMD has scheduled an event in Barcelona, and the new Nokia 3310 will cost a mere €59 ($63). Other than this, information is quite scarce. We do know that HMD will launch several other smartphones, including Nokia 5 and Nokia 3. The 5.2-inch Nokia 5 will have 2GB of RAM and a 12-megapixel camera, and it will retail for €199 ($211). But nothing more about the 3310.
It’s ironic that this happens since it was the very transition to smartphones that brought Nokia to its knees. Well, the decay and ultimate bankruptcy of one the biggest tech companies in history is still heatedly debated by economists today, but it’s clear that Nokia never really made it into smartphones. Will this be a triumphant return, or yet another failed rehash attempt? I for one, am pretty curious.
Nokia has a long history, dating back to 1865 when Fredrik Idestam, a mining engineer, created a Pulp mill near the town of Tampere, Finland (then in the Russian Empire). Much later, Nokia’s mobile phones were incredibly successful in Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania. Nokia was also one of the pioneers of mobile gaming, due to the popularity of Snake, which was pre-loaded on many products. Even as Nokia is in a state of general disarray, it still accounts for 16% of Finland’s exports, and at the peak of their success, the figure was much higher.