Nokia Through its Iconic Phones - The New Indian Express

Nokia Through its Iconic Phones

Published: 04th May 2014 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 03rd May 2014 12:02 PM

As some emotional Finns gathered around to look, the crane pulled down the sign on the building that was the pride of the country for the past few decades. As the Nokia sign was replaced with Microsoft’s, and as a new company Microsoft Mobile Oy took birth, it is time to look back at the history of one of the greatest mobile phone manufacturers through its iconic phones   

Nokia 1100 (1992)

Before the 1011 hit the market on 10th of November 1992, there were many mobile phones on the market, some of them made by Nokia itself like the Mobira Senator from 1982 which weighed a whopping 9.8 kilos, the Mobira Talkman from 1984 which weighed 5 kilos, or the world’s first handheld, the Cityman 900 from 1987 which weighed ‘just’ 800 grams. But the 1011, named after the date of its release, was the most important phone Nokia has ever made as it was the world’s first mass-produced GSM phone. It weighed a ‘mere’ 475 grams and gave a talk time of 90 minutes with a 12-hour standby mode. Capable of holding 99 phone numbers, it had a two-line screen and introduced the concept of text messaging.

Nokia 1100 (2003)

In 2005, a guy walked into a shop in Nigeria and bought Nokia’s one billionth phone, and it was also its most iconic phone. Launched in 2003, it was a mobile phone at its simplest, toughest best. This most basic of mobile phone has connected billions of impoverished people and has entertained billions of others with its iconic snake game. Now Apple could be selling 150 million iPhones per year, but in those days, with 250 million units sold, the 1100 was the world’s best-selling phone and the ‘best selling consumer electronics device’ before phones started smarting up.

Nokia 8210 (1999)

By 1999, Nokia had established itself as a major player with innovative phones like the 2110, which first introduced the famous Nokia ringtone and the Communicator 9000 which was one of the first mass-market smartphones. But what truly established its engineering chops was the 8210. This tiny phone weighing a mere 79 grams wowed the users at the time because for the first time it did away with a visible antenna. It also had an infrared port, which meant you could transfer contacts and play two-player snake with another 8210.

Nokia 7380 (2005)

The most striking aspect of Nokia in the olden days was its confidence. The confidence to experiment, to do mistakes, and to put out the most outlandish designs possible. The 7280 and its more beautiful, refined successor 7380, were examples of this confidence. Part of the L’Amour collection, these phones quickly came to be called the ‘Lipstick phones’ and were as hard to use as beautiful they looked. With a jog wheel instead of a number pad it was fun to try to type in a text message or even tap out a phone number with this Symbian phone in the days when there were no touch screens around.

Nokia N95 (2006)

In September 2006, at an event in New York, the then reigning king of mobile phones, Nokia promised to show ‘what computers have become’ and unveiled the N95. With a web browser, Wi-Fi, GPS, front and back cameras and running Symbian operating system, it promised a future filled with smartphones. A unique slider design had special controls to play multimedia and its successor came with 8GB of internal storage. As it happens, six months after the N95’s launch, a certain Steve Jobs pulled out an iPhone from his pocket in California and changed the smartphone game. In a parallel world without Jobs, the N95 is probably how all smartphones look like.

Nokia Lumia 920 (2012)

After the blow from the iPhone, it took six long years for Nokia to even try to get back into the game. Those six years saw a string of horrible devices, a new CEO in Stephen Elop with his ‘burning platform’ letter and a tie-up with Microsoft to use the Windows Phone operating system. The Lumia 920 signified the perfection of the new design direction that Microsoft took with the introduction of Lumia 800 in 2011. Running Windows Phone’s distinctive ‘Metro’ interface with live tiles and available in beautifully crafted devices, the 920 promised a fight to the iPhone and to the now rampaging Android phones. But sadly it was too late and the iPhone killer was never to be.

Matham is a tech geek.

Follow him on Twitter @AdarshMatham

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