Rebooting Nokia’s cellphone legend
IT’S BEEN listed as one of the best selling cellphones, with over 126 million sold before the phone was phased out in 2005.
Now 12 years later, will the relaunched Nokia 3310 be just as popular?
Its manufacturers, Finish Company HMD Global, seem to think so.
The much loved classic and near indestructible phone, was released this week in South Africa, with Cell C the first local mobile operator to stock the redesigned handset.
The revamped Nokia 3310, which is selling for R749, looks similar to its predecessor but, instead of the original monochrome display it has a colour screen.
“Since we first announced the Nokia 3310 at Mobile World Congress, we’ve experienced phenomenal demand and in South Africa it’s been no different,” Shaun Durandt, the general manager, HMD Global, Southern Africa said.
“The Nokia 3310 is a fun reimagining of one of the most popular and iconic mobile handsets of all time.”
Among the impressive features of the new Nokia 3310 is its battery life. The phone offers 31 days standby time, with 22 hours talk time.
“Battery life is most people’s greatest concern and the new Nokia 3310 delivers exceptional battery life and makes for a perfect companion phone as well.”
The phone has also reintroduced its popular mobile game Snake. However, it has limited internet capabilities, relying on 2.5G connectivity, with users browsing at speeds slower than 3G.
It also has a single camera which has just two megapixels.
“We’ re targeting this device two fold – firstly as a companion device. Some consumers are buying the phone to keep it in their cars, handbags, to use as a back-up should they run out of battery power.
“The second aim is that 2G is still a very active band in most of Africa and consumers now have a choice of getting the Nokia 3310 as well as the Nokia 150, 216. It’s a consumer choice and preference.”
But local tech expert Arthur Goldstuck doesn’t expect the Nokia 3310 to set the consumer market alight.
“The phone looks like a toy and, with its bright, plastic colours, only vaguely resembles the original device,” said Goldstuck.
“At the price, from R699 upwards, it’s more expensive than entry-level smartphones, so people comparing features will find it wanting.”
Goldstuck believes the only reason the cellphone will sell units is because of the nostalgia value of the device.
“As such, it was a stroke of marketing genius, as it has everyone talking about the brand, and many in the media in a near-frenzy about its return.”
“If they were merely launching the Nokia 3, 5 and 6, few would even bother covering it.
“By invoking a legend, they have put the brand right up there with the major players again.”
The Nokia 3310’s new funky look comes with extended battery life for 22 hours talk time and 31 standby days.