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Nokia starts post-Microsoft reboot with a ?dumb? phone

Jamaica Gleaner / SEATTLE:

The company that owns the rights to the Nokia phone brand is going old-school, releasing an updated take on a feature phone that predates the smartphone revolution.

The new Nokia, which is owned by private equity-controlled HMD Global, unveiled an updated Nokia 3310 before last week’s Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona. The first model of that phone was released in 2000.

The updated version comes with the classic ‘Snake’ game, promises a battery that lasts a month on standby, and comes in flashier colours than the original subdued gray-and-blue edition. It will be available beginning in the second quarter.

Alas, the phone, tied to 2G mobile networks, won’t browse the web very fast. And forget about GPS navigation or smartphone-type apps.

The original 3310 was released when Nokia was the No. 1 mobile-phone brand in the world, before Apple’s iPhone and devices running Google’s Android made smartphones a must-have.

Mobile World Congress, or MWC, the venue for many major mobile-technology announcements, marks Nokia’s return to the scene after the disastrous two years that Microsoft controlled Nokia’s handset unit.

The Seattle-area company in May sold HMD Global the rights to make Nokia feature phones like the 3310 that lack smartphone-like capabilities, for $350 million.

HMD also licensed the Nokia brand name from the Finnish company for use on smartphones and tablets, and MWC marks the debut of three Android-powered smartphones bearing the Nokia name: the Nokia 6, Nokia 5 and Nokia 3.

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