Nokia 3310: The antiquated wonder in telephony

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[Analyses]–In Nigeria, when you hear NOKIA 3310,  the three things that comes to mind are strength, ruggedness and long lasting life.

I could remember vividly that my first cell phone was the NOKIA 3310. It was passed down to me from a friend who had used the phone for two solid years. It was surprising when I had to pass the same phone down to another friend after using it for another two years. It is worthy of note that in the whole four years, nothing has changed on the phone. It still remained solid as ever.

NOKIA 3310 is a model for lessons that could be used in life application itself. The phone was manufactured at a time when brands such as SAGEM, SENDO, SAGEM, ALCATEL, SIEMEN, TRIUM, MOTOROLA and so on were thriving in Nigeria. There were many NOKIA brands in the market also but NOKIA 3310 seemed to have taken the fame of the moment immediately it entered the telephony market. We could almost conclude that 8 out of 10 households would have at least one NOKIA 3310 in the family then.

In the era of smartphones and android OS, comedies and jokes about the mobile phones of the past are not complete without a mention of NOKIA 3310. Antiquated yet popular amongst Nigerians. A popular Instagram comedy sensation by the name SLK comedy uses the NOKIA 3310 to make his funny calls.  I sampled the joy on the faces of Nigerians when NOKIA announced that the vintage phone would be coming back on the android operating system. I can say without any equivocation that the most used phone in the last decade and few years is NOKIA 3310.

My interaction with a colleague who once worked as a sales representative for Nokia in Hungary made me realize that the phone was not intentionally and specially made for strength, but was produced like any other phone. It was a surprise to NOKIA itself at the number of copies sold in just 3 months of production. The phone just happened to be a wonder to the people in its own special way and got the international attention no other NOKIA brand of its time got.

My curiosity of what made the phone special and cherished by Nigerians pushed me further to an online scouting and statement analytics about the phone. One of the major reasons by people is that the phone was rugged and strong. Some even made a joke by saying NOKIA means NO CARE because it is bold and strong. It is pertinent to note the the OJABO KOFO ( falls but would not break) slang in yoruba language was because of NOKIA  3310. Some other people noted that its shape and the button arrangement was quite unique compared to the phones that existed in the market that time. All these reason together undoubtedly portrayed a phone that fulfilled the requirements of a dazzling beauty to Nigerians.

The lessons we could learn from this beautiful  phone are enormous. I am sure NOKIA was not thinking of a special brand when they made this phone but ended up being special to Nigerians. This would teach entrepreneurs to keep working hard to deliver the best services or products even if it doesn’t feel like it’s going to make a national news. There are some people somewhere whose needs would be perfectly met by the products that doesn’t appear special to you as an entrepreneur. Another important lesson here is that it only takes a single WRITE UP to be a recognized journalist. It only takes one mind blowing SONG to be a globally accepted musician. It takes just one ground breaking RESEARCH to be a renowned scholar.

Keep churning out those innovative ideas, you may have put thousands of them out already, but one will sure put you on the map of the world soon.

David ADEPOJU is a technology enthusiast, technology policy analyst, an information scientist and a writer. He writes from Ibadan, Oyo state Nigeria.




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