Mar 20, 2017 08:26 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Comment: Is new Nokia 3310 still relevant in the smartphone era?

India has 350-million-plus feature phone users slowly migrating to smartphones. That‘s a contingent too huge to ignore.

Comment: Is new Nokia 3310 still relevant in the smartphone era?
Chaitanya Gudipaty Moneycontrol News

If productivity and nostalgia are weighed, the scales would be tipped in favour of the former. The new Nokia 3310 leverages nostalgia but lacks productivity quotient. HMD Global, which markets the phone that has been brought back from the dead after 12 years, loses out to its adversaries on many levels, especially in India where it plans a rollout in April-June .

Firstly, Nokia 3310 runs only on 2.5G networks. It loses out on the telecom users who are fast switching from 2G to 4G or 3G to 4G networks. India has 350-million-plus feature phone users slowly migrating to smartphones. That’s a contingent too huge to ignore.

At the launch event in Barcelona last week, HMD Global portrayed the phone as “detox phone” — meaning a phone that will help one keep off digitally-intrusive mediums such as Internet. A “detox phone” further shrinks the potential user base.

Back in 2000s, the Nokia 3310 was the most sought-after phones in the market. It must be noted that most mobile phone users then came from metros. That can’t be said now. A sub-optimal feature phone with limited Internet connectivity and miniscule app support doesn’t act in favour of Nokia 3310. In the age of Facebook, Twitter and selfies, Nokia 3310 may just be relegated to a phone that doubles up as a music player or a serve as back-up phone for emergencies at best.

Also, for about Rs 4,000 — the price at which Nokia 3310 may sell — a device which is good enough to satiate the needs of first-time smartphone buyer can be satiated.

A successful relaunch, however, can thrust brand Nokia back into the pecking order of handsetmakers. Over the past few years, Nokia lost out the smartphones frenzy launched by Samsung and now being carried on by Chinese companies like Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo.

Its attempts to resuscitate by forging partnerships with Microsoft for Windows-based smartphones and later with a bare-basic Android OS smartphone fell flat. The Samsung blow was too hard to recover from.

Overall, Nokia 3310 has a big mountain to climb. While the nostalgia may help it win some consumers, it is unlikely that the new Nokia 3310 will become a phone to swear-by. If you judge by yardsticks of the 2000s, the new Nokia 3310 may become a victim of its own image.
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