The 3310 was king when Apple and Google weren’t thinking smartphones yet
Nokia is relaunching the $65 phone of millennial childhoods.
HMD, the Finnish mobile phone manufacturer that makes Nokia-branded phones, is launching an updated version of the Nokia 3310 in Britain today. First released in 2000, the 3310 became one of the most recognizable phones in the world at a time when Apple was struggling to regain relevance and Google was only four years old. Approximately 126 million models of the 3310 have been sold.
Fast forward a decade and a half, and things have changed. Likewise, the 3310 has been given a refresh. It’s about 40% lighter than the original model and comes with a two megapixel camera. The software has also been improved: the phone features an updated version of Snake and a basic web browser. HMD boasts that the 3310’s battery supports up to 22 hours of talk time, or 8 hours more than the iPhone 7. The hope is that this will draw back diehards. Celebrities like actress Helena Bonham Carter have been photographed with the original 3310, while one British soldier says it’s survived a tour of duty in Iraq— and his washing machine.
Though sales figures aren’t available yet, initial demand for the phone suggests that nostalgia still sells. “There has been an astonishing groundswell of interest,” an executive at U.K. retailer Carphone Warehouse said to the Telegraph of London. “Levels of pre-registrations…are incredibly strong, proving that it’s not all hype and that consumers really want to get their hands on one.” The phone will enter other European markets this summer, though HMD has been coy as to potentially launching the 3310 in America.
Despite this resurgence of interest, Nokia has a long way to go before it returns to its heyday. Back in late 2007, the brand controlled 40% of the global mobile phone market. Last year, almost 1.5 billion smartphones were sold, according to data from Gartner. By contrast, only 396 million feature phones— as so-called “dumb phones” are officially called— made their ways into the hands of consumers.
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