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Nokia: Back to 'Connecting People' With Mobile Phones

Top-selling 3310 to make a comeback this summer

March 1, 2017 | Mobile

Nostalgic for Nokia? You’re in luck.

The iconic Nokia 3310 mobile phone is set to return this summer, nearly 17 years after it first launched. HMD Global, the Finland-based company with exclusive rights to market the Nokia brand, announced the upcoming release at the Mobile World Congress on Sunday.

This is the first time since selling its mobile manufacturing business to Microsoft in 2014 that Nokia is making a major push into the mobile phone market. Over the past few years, it has been focused mainly on mobile networks. Microsoft later sold its feature phone assets to Foxconn Technology Group and HMD Global in May 2016.

The Nokia 3310 is one the of the world’s best-selling mobile phones, with 126 million units sold since 2000. It is known for its durability, long battery life and, of course, the Snake game. All of these features will be available on the revamped version, which will retail for €49 ($54.21), but it will be slimmer and include a color screen and a camera.

Another feature from the original 3310 that HMD decided to keep was the old band frequencies, which were used for 2G communications. Those frequencies have been switched off in countries like the US, Canada and Australia, unfortunately making the new 3310 unusable there.

Still, the news about the re-introduction was met with excitement from Nokia fans who remember the Finnish firm’s glory days as the world’s leading mobile manufacturer. Due to its failure to compete in the smartphone market, however, Nokia’s market share has declined drastically over the past 10 years.

According to Counterpoint Technology Market Research, Nokia no longer ranks among the top five mobile phone brands across most of the world. In the Middle East and Africa and Europe it came in fourth and fifth place, respectively, accounting for roughly 6% of mobile phone shipments in Q3 2016. This was far behind the leading brand, Samsung.

Top 5 Worldwide and Regional Mobile Phone Brands, Ranked by Shipment Share, Q3 2016 (% of total)

Even in Finland, where consumers have remained loyal to the homegrown mobile manufacturer, Nokia’s popularity has dwindled. The latest available data from Aalto University showed that Nokia- or Microsoft-branded devices accounted for 46% of all mobile phones in use in September 2015, down from 55% one year earlier.

Looking just at smartphones, Gartner reported that Nokia’s Lumia, which runs on Microsoft’s operating system, made up just 5% of new smartphone sales in Finland during Q4 2016. By comparison, Samsung and Apple represented 26% and 24%, respectively.

The three new Nokia smartphones HMD unveiled along with the 3310 will use Android’s OS. Ranging from €139 to €299 ($153.77 to $330.77), all three models are considered to be in the low-cost smartphone category and will also be available this summer.

Jasmine Enberg

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