Nokia’s newly restored phone business went back to the future on Sunday, re-introducing the world’s most popular device since year 2000, a new and brightly colored version of the classic 3310 talk and text phone.
The new model now has bigger screens and is priced at just 49 euros or 52 dollars. Its 22 hours talk time and up to one month of standby time potentially heighten the phone's appeal as a backup for smartphone users.
Analysts hailed the 3310 launch as a smart retro gambit, but one which could overshadow the Finnish company's re-entry into the global smartphone market.
Nokia Chief Executive Rajeev Suri told a news conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the telecom industry's largest annual trade fair said, "The love for the brand is immense. It gets a lot of affection from millions and millions of people."
Once the world's dominant phonemaker, Nokia in 2014 sold its by-then ailing handset operations to Microsoft for $7 billion, leaving it with its network equipment business and a large patent portfolio.
But last year, it gave the Nokia brand a fresh start by licensing its devices brand to HMD Global, a new company led by ex-Nokia executives and backed by Chinese electronics giant Foxconn.
The original 3310 sold 126 million phones, the 12th best-selling phone model in history. Nine of the top 12 selling models were produced by Nokia.
It also revives the one-time hit time waster game Snake featured on the original phone, the "Angry Birds" of its day. In a modern twist, fans can now play Snake in Facebook Messenger.