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Iconic Nokia 3310 to come back to Indian market… in trendier avatar

The iconic Nokia 3310 is set to make a comeback in a new trendier avatar, with HMD Global bringing the handset to India in the next quarter for about Rs 3,500. HMD Global, which has struck a 10-year brand licensing agreement with Nokia for mobile phones and tablets, will also bring in Android-powered Nokia 6, Nokia 5 and Nokia 3 to India in the second quarter of this year.

"All the products that we have announced Nokia 3310, Nokia 6, Nokia 5 and Nokia 3 will be available in the second quarter of this year in India. Average global selling price for Nokia 3310 is 49 euros," HMD Global Oy Chief Marketing Officer Pekka Rantala said here. The revamped 3310 model features bigger screen. Its 22 hours of talk time and up to one month of standby time are expected to position the handset as a back-up for smartphone users.

Nokia 3310, known for its robustness, was the most widely used feature phone globally in 2000-05. It is estimated to have sold 126 million units globally when there were only a few countries with mobile networks. The model was discontinued in 2005 globally. It was when India had very small mobile subscriber base of less than 85 million compared to over 1 billion at present.

Once the world's biggest handset company, Nokia in 2014 sold its ailing handset operations to Microsoft for USD 7 billion to focus on its network equipment business. However, last year, the brand got a new lease of life with HMD Global, a new company led by ex-Nokia executives, getting the licence.

"Now, we are celebrating the new era of Nokia brand that is the reason we are with HMD Global. Let me also be very clear that we would not license the Nokia brand to just anybody. It means too much to us. We chose carefully. We looked at the market. We looked at Google to be our brand licensing partner which could do this for a long time," Nokia President and CEO Rajeev Suri said.

The new Nokia 3310 is a dual SIM 2.5G feature phone with 1200 mAH battery that promises around 22 hours of talk time with one-time full charge. It has 2.4-inch display, 2 megapixel camera with LED flash, bluetooth and USB connectivity option and 16 MB internal with external storage option of up to 32 GB. To be available in 4 colours, the Nokia 3310 will allow users to play iconic games like Snake as well.

"When we went to our distributors for price survey, they mentioned higher prices. But we want to sell our phones at prices which are sustainable. When it comes to India, I believe there is a consumer profile which will see it (Nokia 3310) as a second phone," Rantala said. In countries like India, there is a huge population and target group that will see Nokia 3310 as their first phone or primary phone, he added. HMD Global has also unveiled Nokia 5 and Nokia 3 smartphones for 189 euros and 139 euros, respectively, built on Google's Android platform. The company has already been selling Nokia 6 in China.

One model of Nokia 6 with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage will be retailed at around 229 euros and the other one with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal memory with support for external memory card will be available for around 299 euros. Nokia 6 has 5.5-inch screen size, 8 MP front camera and 16 MP rear camera. Nokia 3 and 5 have 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage and support memory card of up to 128 GB. The Nokia 3 smartphone sports 5-inch screen size, 8 megapixel camera in the front and back. Nokia 5 has a 5.2-inch screen, 8 MP front and 13 MP back cameras.

Rantala said the price in India and other countries can fluctuate a little bit because of taxation and other cost factors. HMD Global CEO Arto Nummela said the company has partnered with Google to sell pure version of Android phones that will provide latest features and security updates.

Nokia unveiled virtual reality camera here that can capture complete scene around an individual and not just the front scene captured by a traditional camera. It also launched health monitoring products under Withings brand comprising smartwatch, smart thermometer, wireless blood pressure monitor and wi-fi weighing scale. The launch date and prices of these products are yet to be made public.

Meanwhile, South Korean electronics giant Samsung has expanded its tablet portfolio with Galaxy Tab S3 and Galaxy Book and outlined a series of measures to "enhance" product safety. The focus on product safety comes against the backdrop of a global product recall that Samsung had undertaken as faulty phone batteries led to its flagship Galaxy Note 7 catching fire.

Taking the curtain off the two new tablets at the mega mobile show – the Mobile World Congress – here, the South Korean conglomerate also shared a teaser video of its much-awaited smartphone. The smartphone – speculated as Galaxy 8 – is believed to be the successor of Galaxy Note 7 and Samsung's next flagship. The company did not divulge any details on the launch, slated for March 29.

"The past six months have undoubtedly been one of the most challenging periods in our history. We did not meet the high standards of quality and excellence we set for ourselves and consumers have come to expect from us," said Samsung Electronics Europe CMO David Lowes.
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