Can the Unbelievably Cute Nokia 3310 Put the Nokia Brand Back on the Map?

Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 launched at MWC 2017 alongside new-age Nokia 3310

When we first covered the arrival of the Nokia 3310 back in February, we were excited because Nokia was reviving one of its more popular models. But we were more excited by the fact that Nokia itself was going through a revival, after being at the top of the mobile ecosystem and then coming crashing down with the advent of smartphones.

Now that the Nokia 3310 has been released, let’s take a look at its potential to put the Nokia brand name back on the map.

Compared to the original, the new Nokia 3310 is a stunning phone. The simple, old-school design melded with flowing, modernistic design lines makes it look exactly like what it’s supposed to – a retro-nostalgic device with some modern capabilities.

Speaking of capabilities, the Nokia 3310 hasn’t strayed too far away from the original. It’s still on 2G, unfortunately, which is a dying mobile technology in most parts of the developed world. But then again, it’s not meant for markets like the U.S.

Unfortunately, neither is the phone capable of holding two SIMs, which was the original plan. And it as a microSIM, not the nanoSIM format that most smartphones use today. The charging port is also the older microUSB.

But all of these features have solid reasoning behind them. The Nokia 3310 is seen primarily as a lead device to bring the Nokia name back into the market. It is not meant for the developed world of 4G LTE, nanoSIMs and USB Type-C. It is meant for emerging markets, where 2G still exists, microSIMs are common enough and USB C hasn’t penetrated the device ecosystem that deeply.

Consider all those factors and add the price point of $50, and what you have is the perfect secondary phone for making and receiving calls, and playing Snake! Don’t make the mistake of expecting too much from the Nokia 3310. It is what it is: a revival of memories, no more.

That said, it could potentially be a strong leader for its bigger, more expensive Android siblings that are gradually ‘seeping’ into other markets from the core Chinese releases.

HMD Global knows that it’s going to have a hard time competing in developed markets, which is very possibly why the launches began in emerging regions, where they can test out various possibilities and see what works.

At best, the Nokia 3310 is an ice-breaker in new markets where other devices will follow. “Hey, what’s that cool phone you’re holding” would probably be the best representation of the kind of interest that HMD Global wants to build for the Nokia brand. And then they deliver the real agenda – their Android-based smartphones.

That strategy might work. The Nokia 3310 is already being considered an ideal second phone, and to appeal to extrovert and younger users, the company has made sure there are vibrant colors to choose from. That’s the core future audience for their more premium Android phones, in case you haven’t figured that out by now.

In fact, the whole business around Nokia 3310 can be seen as a creative marketing effort by HMD to put the Nokia brand on the map again. Once that happens, their entry into the mainstream smartphone market will be much easier, since millennials will now be able to recognize the brand.

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