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21 May 2024

Nokia goes back to the future with 49 euro phone

Photo: Reuters

By Reuters

Nokia's newly revitalized phone business went back to the future on Sunday, re-introducing a brightly colored version of the best-selling phone of 2000.

The new version of the classic 3310 talk and text phone has bigger screens and is priced at just 49 euros ($52). Nokia also reentered the global smartphone market with four moderately priced models ranging from 139 to 299 euros.

Once the world's dominant phonemaker, Nokia in 2014 sold its by-then ailing handset operations to Microsoft for $7 billion.

HMD, a new company led by ex-Nokia executives and backed by Chinese electronics giant Foxconn, in December took over the Nokia feature phones business and struck a licensing deal that gave it sole use of the Nokia brand on all phones and tablets for the next decade.

"The love for the brand is immense. It gets a lot of affection from millions and millions of people," Nokia Chief Executive Rajeev Suri told a news conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the telecom industry's largest annual trade fair.

Nokia is betting that the revived devices business can help it make a fresh start in the smartphone market.