Your Favorite Dumb Phone From 17 Years Ago Is Relaunching Next Week
If you’re over a certain age, or like movies from the early noughties, you will remember the Nokia 3310.
Small, firm, easy-to-grip, hard to destroy, and endlessly reliable, its passing has been regretted by many an aging technophobe who never quite understood why that infernal meddler Steve Jobs ever needed to make phones so darn complicated.
Well, relief is at hand for the dinosaurs. In just under two weeks, the company that now owns the rights to the Nokia brand is relaunching the 3310 at Mobile World Congress, the cellular industry’s annual confab in Barcelona, Spain—according to VentureBeat’s Evan Blass.
The phone will go on sale at a proud price of 59 euros ($63), explicitly targeting the European market, according to Blass. Its plans for North America aren’t clear and a spokeswoman for HMD Global, the bunch of die-hards from the Finnish company’s glory days that now owns the Nokia handset rights, hadn’t responded to Fortune at the time of writing.
As Fortune reported in December, the idea is that the phones will appeal to consumers who don’t want to spend loads of money on smartphones or expensive data plans, or for parents who want to mobile access for their children without the temptations of the Internet.
But HMD Global isn’t just running a nostalgia shop. It will also be showing the new Nokia 6 that it recently launched in China, a smaller Nokia 5 and an even more basic Nokia 3, priced at 249, 199 and 149 euros, respectively. These are stripped-down, no frills Internet-connected devices powered by Google’s Android operating system and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon microchips.
While the company obviously isn’t trying to compete with the iPhone 8 when it comes out, it is doing its best to provide a serviceable budget alternative that will make people in the mid and lower market segments really ask themselves how many bells and whistles they really need. A dangerous line of thought indeed.