MarketingTechnology

Does Nokia banana nostalgia have a sell-by date?

I can't help feeling that Nokia (or rather HMD Global) was really smart with its phone announcements at MWC this year. By launching a rebooted version of the old 8110 "Matrix" phone from the nineties it managed to get far more coverage through all media channels than the launch of a few solid but unexceptional Android smartphones would have done. This follows on nicely from last year's re-imagined 3110. The 8110 is described as a feature phone which kind of means it is not-quite-smart phone. It uses an operating system called KaiOs which is somehow related to the now defunct Firefox OS. I would like to think that there is a nice market niche for these types of devices, but I am not convinced given the obsession with real smartphones.

They have tapped into nostalgia for obsolete technology, for a time when not all phones looked and behaved the same, when you did not have to charge your phone everyday. But this nostalgia is almost past its sell-by date, because most of the reviewers and YouTubers who now seem to dominate all the coverage of new devices don't actually remember the originals. Nostalgia is not what it used to be. So Nokia need to play this card while they still can. The Android phones they launched all looked pretty decent with some nice design touches and and unmolested version of Android. They make take some sales from the likes of Oneplus or Essential, but I cannot see them causing any sleepless nights at Apple or Samsung. I would be happy to be proved wrong though.

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