As most gadget enthusiasts are probably aware, HMD Global re-launched the classic Nokia 3310 feature phone at Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. The release of a redesigned Nokia 3310 seems to have helped HMD Global into putting the Nokia brand back into the spotlight, but as far as the feature phone itself is concerned, the new Nokia 3310 raised a lot of questions as to whether or not it has a place in the mobile market in the year 2017. But according to analysts cited by DigiTimes, the re-launch of the Nokia 3310 has strategic value in emerging markets where feature phones now pave the way of future smartphones.
Opinions in regards to the Nokia 3310 seem to be split, with certain gadget enthusiasts criticizing HMD Global for departing too much from the original design, and others welcoming this new addition to the feature phone lineup. In any case, some analysts believe that the re-launch of the Nokia 3310 will have strategic significance in emerging 2G markets, as the device will re-introduce the Nokia brand to customers who will eventually switch to a smartphone. Brand awareness is extremely important in a competitive market, and some analysts are of the opinion that the Nokia 3310 re-release has the potential of raising brand awareness and make Nokia the brand of choice for many customers in emerging markets. By putting the Nokia brand in the spotlight, HMD Global could benefit from higher demand for Android-powered Nokia smartphones in the future. Today's Nokia 3310 buyers could become tomorrow's Nokia smartphone owners, and HDM Global has already announced three Android-based smartphones at MWC 2017.
The source also touched on which markets might successfully accommodate the new Nokia 3310. The penetration rate of smartphones in the Indian market, for example, stood at 25% in 2015 while is expected to rise to 50% in 2017. The Russian market is experiencing a smartphone penetration rate of around 50%, while Mexico and Brazil have a rate of less than 50%. The source notes that these are all potential markets for HMD Global and the Nokia 3310 re-release, which might prepare consumers for the company's future products. Then again, although the Nokia 3310 refresh will not compete with the smartphone market, it might experience resistance from white-box feature phones which usually ship for around $20-$30. Meanwhile, the Nokia 3310 refresh carries a price tag of EUR 49 or around $51 at today's conversion rate.