Tech Transformers

Nokia 3310 returns for $52 and it has Snake

Nokia's 3310 is back and so is Snake
Nokia's 3310 is back and so is Snake

The iconic Nokia 3310 handset has made a comeback and is soon to be on sale for 49 euros ($52).

Last year, a Finnish start-up called HMD Global, made up of ex-Nokia execs, acquired the intellectual property required to make phones from Nokia. This included branding and technology.

HMD Global has revamped the classic 3310 but keeping the qualities that made the original handset so popular - robustness and battery life.

The Nokia 3310 - which was launched at Mobile World Congrss (MWC) in Barcelona on Sunday - has features including:

  • 22 hours talk time, 10 times more than the original. It lasts a month on standby mode
  • Choice of four colors including the original navy blue
  • Has the popular "Snake" game

HMD said the phone would be released in the second quarter of the year.

HMD Global's Nokia 3310 is much thinner than the original with a longer battery life.
Benjamin Hall | CNBC

The Finnish start-up has partnered with Foxconn to help manufacture the device.

HMD came up with the idea of reviving the iconic device after demand from users.

"We were interacting with consumers and asked what was the best ever Nokia device that you have ever had and out of that questionnaire it was the 3310. And then we though, ok, what the heck, lets have some fun and create this. Because this is an amazing way from a communication point of view to say now there is a new chapter of Nokia," HMD Global CEO Arto Nummela, told CNBC ahead of the launch.

Nokia's original 3310 sold over 100 million units, according to CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood, who called the phone a "worldwide phenomenon".

HMD Global's Nokia 3310 comes in different colors and features the hit game "Snake".
Benjamin Hall | CNBC

But analysts warned HMD needed to position its brand as new innovative product.

"New Nokia must manage a brand balancing act between appealing to those with fond memories for old Nokia handsets of the early 2000s, and at the same time positioning Nokia as an innovative and forward looking brand," Ian Fogg, head of mobile at IHS Markit, told CNBC by email.

"By launching a new version of popular Nokia phone from years ago, the company risks appearing as a nostalgia brand, rather than the innovative start-up it needs to be to gain significant mobile market share."

HMD also released three new Nokia-branded smartphones. Click here to read CNBC's report.