The Nokia 3310, once the world's most beloved phone, will be resurrected as a low-cost alternative in the smartphone-era. It will be sold by Finnish start-up HMD Global, which acquired the Nokia brand name in 2016.
It's almost like the smartphone revolution never happened. Finnish brand Nokia, once the darling of the mobile phone world, will resurrect the iconic 3310 model, some 17 years after the original was released.
Arto Nummela, the head of Finnish start-up HMD, announced the revamped classic phone on Sunday ahead of the opening of the Mobile World Congress, the world's biggest mobile phone show, in Barcelona. The firm will produce the phone as part of a licensing agreement with Nokia.
"The telephone will allow you to talk for 22 hours, ten times more than the original," Nummela said. It will also bring back the popular "Snake" game.
The new 3310 will qualify as a so-called "feature-phone" that only provides limited internet facilities, as opposed to a more sophisticated smartphone.
The original 3310 was launched in 2000 and sold nearly 120 million units worldwide, making it one of the best-selling mobile phones of all time. It was phased out in 2005.
The revamped model will reportedly retail for 49 euros ($51).
Riding the nostalgia wave
While 3310 may be limited in features, it comes with plenty of nostalgia value. HMD Global's homage to the sturdy blue phone is part of its mission to relaunch the Nokia brand and draw consumers in towards HMD's other new phone models.
In addition to the revamped 3310, HMD on Sunday also presented three new smartphones, the Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6. All three models will run Google's Android operating system and reportedly retail between 139 and 229 euros.
"HMD launched three new smartphones and an iconic mobile." Thomas Husson, a mobile analyst at Forrester, said. "It is a way to create a halo effect around the other models by reviving talk about the Nokia brand."
"This (the new 3310) is a new take, a bit fun and entertaining," Nummela told the broadcaster, BBC. The new smartphones, he said, were "making a clear statement: we are driving the next chapter of Nokia."
Nokia once reigned supreme as the world's top mobile phone maker but found itself unable to respond to the rapid rise of smartphones, which saw it overtaken by rivals such as Samsung and Apple's iPhone.
The Finnish company sold its entire handset business to Microsoft in 2014 before the Nokia brand name ultimately disappeared from the mobile phone market. However, last year HMD purchased Microsoft Mobile's handset business and with it the right to use the Nokia brand name.
Nokia continues to exist as a leading telecoms equipment maker. Under its agreement with HMD, it will receive royalty payments for every mobile phone or tablet sold with its brand name.
dm/jr (AFP, dpa)