The future’s bright, the future’s a Nokia 3310

I caught myself this morning thinking that I would like one of these bricks back in my life. This is something I never considered, as a telephony specialist I would be thinking, especially when this technology is in its late teens. But the truth is, the Nokia 3310 was simply the best, most durable phone I have owned in my life. Hear me out… 

Yes, I wasn’t able to browse Facebook, reply to emails or check the weather on itLet’s be honest, back in the early 2000s most of these functionalities were pipe dreams for mobile users, and mobile data was only really coming to the fore. But it would last me not only one day, but whole business trips when I was abroad for days on end. I am lucky now if I get to lunchtime without having to dig out my USB cable to charge my current phone wherever I am. 

But why did I think this to myself, and why did Finnish company HMD Global, who own the rights for the Nokia name on phones, think this too (if the rumours are true)?

I think I have mentioned a few of the benefits of the Nokia 3310 already – battery life and durability – but I think it goes deeper than that for most. It’s what a mobile phone is meant to be. A device for making and receiving telephone calls and, if you must, SMS text messages.

Many of us who have been using mobile phones since their inception – sorry, I mean since they became affordable – will remember a simpler life. A life of only calls coming to your phone and the only distraction being the (highly addictive) game, Snake. (As a side note, there are plenty of online emulations of this, and even an iPhone app, if you want to waste some time).

The mobile phone has now effectively became a mobile office. Were always on, and weve lost some of the home life we used to have when email was limited to your PC/Laptop. Your phone could ring, but that was about it. Could the 3310 (if announced) provide a new worklife balance for those who don’t want to play Mario on their iPhone?

Another benefit will be cost. An iPhone can cost you upwards of £500 (depending on the version) and inevitably they get dropped down the toilet, rolled over by cars and dropped off sofas. These phones aren’t anywhere near as durable, meaning you smash the screen and fork out upwards of £100 to repair itMy old 3310 could tell some stories. Beer spills, food, spending time in my hand luggage on busy flights (I wouldn’t dare put my phone in the hand luggage these days, for fear of the screen getting tapped in the wrong place) and it survived, all with a full battery from my charge 4 days ago. Ok, the last bit is a slight exaggeration, but it’s not too far from the truth. In fact, a former Managing Director of mine still had his 3310 when I last saw him, as it was rugged and he loved his time with his horses. The 3310 would survive a brush with horse and all the UK weather could throw at it.

Most people in business want to be accessible on the phone, for voice, but do we need email?  If it’s urgent, surely the phone will ring anyway? You can’t exactly answer email on the M6. Add to this the improvements in mobile and fixed convergence, and mobility is more prominentThink about how we work. For example, the amount of people on the train with tablets and multi-functional devices for work do we really need email, Twitter and Facebook on our phones? Surely a simpler phone, that doesn’t cost a small fortune to replace (should you ever need toand keeps charge for the work week (on one simple charging session), added to the new functions available in modern systems makes this a no brainer for users.  Unless of course you’re addicted to Candy Crush.

As a telephony specialist, I know how much connectivity and mobility has improved the way we work. I’ve written at length about it on our blog. I don’t think we should do away with the mobility cloud-hosted apps like Office 365 offers us, but the news of a revitalised Nokia 3310 has me harking back to those simpler times for mobile phones. Maybe I’ll get myself another one and save my cloud-based emails and apps for my WiFi-connected laptop on the train.