September 9, 2013
The phone that could not be killed. A tribute to the Nokia 3310
The ultimate lesson of the sale of Nokia’s phone division to Microsoft last week is that even titans fall: the largest mobile phone maker in the world from 1998 until 2012, the Finnish papermaker-turned-phone vendor produced thirteen of the top twenty best-selling phones ever.
While Nokia produced a number of breakthrough devices in its years of dominance, its most iconic creation is perhaps the Nokia 3310.
Released in 2000, this squat, candy bar-shaped phone is probably what people picture when they conjure up a mobile phone from the days before they were smart... Its features seem laughably basic now: T9 predictive text, voice dialing, and four games, the most of notable of which was the classic Snake II, in which players tried to grow their snake as long as possible without touching any obstacles.
But its virtual indestructibility has made it a legend—or at least the subject of countless internet memes. It has been thrown great distances, run over by automobiles, smashed by hammers, shot, and set on fire. And it’s survived more of those trials, more often, than anyone would expect of a piece of modern gadgetry. In fact, over a decade after its release, gadget reviewers continue to compare its durability to newer, more advanced devices; the Nokia 3310 usually wins.
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