Its durability is legend. Its desirability indisputable. But the mobile phone business is a cutthroat one, and the rise of the smartphone finally killed off the iconic Nokia 3310.
Now there are rumors that the 3310 is making a comeback, sporting the same retro looks, and priced at just €59 ($62), according to well known phone-leaker Evan Blass of Venturebeat. HMD Global, the company that makes phones with the Nokia brand now, is said to be relaunching the phone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona taking place from Feb. 27 to March 2.
The 3310 relaunch news broke first on the VTech blog on Feb. 8, which sourced the information from distributors. Blass published further details of the relaunched phone on Feb. 13, including its price. It’s not known what operating system or features the updated 3310 will use, although other new Nokias run on Android.
The 3310 was legendary for the longevity of its battery life (260 hours, or nearly 11 days, on standby, according to the Nokia Museum fansite) and its robustness, which has spawned internet memes and videos of creative destruction. It sold 126 million units since it was launched in 2000, putting it among Nokia’s all-time greats, but not enough to place it at the very top, a title that belongs to the Nokia 1100, with 250 million units over its lifetime.
These figures pale in comparison to smartphone sales today, of course. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, for instance, sold 75 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015 alone. But the revival of the Nokia 3310 will be a nostalgic look back to the brand’s glory days as a consumer technology pioneer. The phone was packed with innovative features like extra-long SMS messages, addictive bundled mobile games, and a stopwatch and calculator, all packaged in a sleek 133 gram (4.7 ounces) candybar. That heritage is a big part of the reason why HMD Global paid $350 million to license the brand in the first place.