Nokia relaunched its simple but classic 3310 phone in its home market of Finland yesterday, hoping a wave of nostalgia might boost the brand as it expands into newer smartphones.
Once the world’s dominant phonemaker, Nokia Oyj sold its handset operation to Microsoft in 2014, leaving it to focus on telecoms network equipment.
But its brand has gone back on the cellphone market across much of Europe and India thanks to a licensing deal with HMD Global, a new company led by former Nokia executives and backed by Chinese electronics giant Foxconn.
HMD has sole use of the Nokia brand on all phones and tablets for the next decade, and it will pay royalties to Nokia Oyj.
Nokia 3310, a basic talk and text phone, was the world’s most popular device in 2000 and the first handset owned by many of today’s smartphone users.
The updated version, in bright red or yellow or more modest blue or grey and featuring the classic Snake game, sells for ß49 (R723).
HMD hopes its 22 hours of talk time and up to a month of standby time will heighten its appeal for customers looking for a break from smartphone overload or a reliable device for lively nights out. Initial demand appears strong. Jan Virkki, consumer products head at Finland’s largest telecom operator Elisa, said: “The first delivery was fully pre-ordered and we’ll probably need to wait a couple of weeks before we have 3310 widely available in our stores.”