Whilst details are still early, HMD are rumoured to be re-launching a modern-version of the classic Nokia 3310 mobile phone. Evan Blass from Venture Beat reports that the iconic handset will be resurrected at the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona at the end of the month.
Remember the Nokia 3310? For many of us, it was our first mobile phone. Launched over 17 years ago, the phone was revolutionary at the time. Jam packed with many features we take for granted today – internal antenna, sms messaging, distinctive ringtone, vibration and screensavers. It’s build quality and battery life is still phenomenal even by today’s standards, the phone is virtually indestructible and an average charge will last about 55 hours on standby. And who doesn’t remember playing Snake, perhaps one of the most addictive mobile games of all time?
However despite once dominating the mobile phone market, Nokia struggled to bring its brand into the smartphone era. After the brand was subsequently purchased and then killed by Microsoft, a bunch of former Nokia employees banded together to form HMD and purchased the rights to the brand and keep it alive.
Today the phone has an almost cult like status, known for it’s iconic design, great battery life, and being both one of the most reliable and resilient mobile phones ever made. Despite being released in 2000, there are currently some original phones still available on eBay and some fans are still reportedly using the device. Compare this to the fragile build of many recent smartphones today, which only have an average lifespan of about 5 years.
Whilst the iPhone 8 release later this year promises to be a radical redesign (yet again) and will likely be the most expensive model to-date, HMD appear to be taking the opposite strategy with the Nokia brand. Whilst specs are still light, HMD appear not to be releasing a smartphone at all, rather a no frills alternate. With a likely cheaper competitive price than traditional smartphones (rumoured to be around $60 – $80 Australia), this could make it a favourite amongst nostalgic consumers or even those wanting a second backup phone.
Whilst we’re all obsessed with the future, successful retailers and brands like HMD are more and more recognising the power of nostalgia. When used right nostalgia can elicit a compelling emotional response from consumers, offer more engaging products and a unique way to stand out from the competition. The homage to the original 3310 phone honours both Nokia’s past and communicates to consumers that HMD knows what originally made the brand once so good.
Brands and retailers playing on nostalgia aren’t unique, with many jumping on the bandwagon to help evoke that warm and fuzzy feeling. Polaroid cameras, vinyl records, Nintendo’s recent re-release of their original Nintendo Entertainment System (which sold out in-stores within minutes) and Disney’s current revival of the Star Wars franchise all create an authentic connection to our past and help us think back to simpler times.
And if you need further evidence of the power of nostalgia, look no further than Trump. His “Make America great again” platform capitalised (in part) on nostalgia as a tool and helped convinced over 60 million Americans to vote for him…