The sturdy brick of the fallen Nokia empire, the trusty 3310 handset, could be making a return to market seventeen years after its initial launch.
Known for a lasting battery putting modern handsets to shame and a powerful frame that made cosmetic damage almost impossible, the phone could be making a return with an announcement at MWC in Barcelona.
The dumb phone still holds the record for bestselling phone, at 126m unit sales over a sustained period of five years from 2000. Now, Nokia appears to have licensed out the model to manufacturer HMD Oy Global, a Finnish manufacturer taking the place of the company’s devices wing which was sold to Microsoft in 2014.
Wayne Guthrie, co-founder of innovation consultancy Fearlessly Frank, said: "I think it’s a great idea and at the right time. Launching something that is like an old friend without any of the addictive traits of smartphones is a great idea. Sign me up! I can see the poster, huge headline on it that says 'Hello, old friend. We used to be so good together'.
"In an age of rising anxiety, due in no small way to smartphone usage – reintroducing a product that is for many people a reassuring old friend,with outstanding battery life to boot, is probably a very good idea. A marketing intervention that could amount to more of a meaningful social intervention if handled well."
He concluded: "Timing, of course, is everything, and it’s only recently that we have clocked up enough experience with mobile and the always-on access to the internet in order to start to become conscious, en masse, of the consequences. Therefore it is ripe for a brand to be looking for ways to compensate and balance a new way of living, with what we have known and been comfortable with for over a century."
The returning model will cost a reported €59.