Nokia has announced a number of new phones, including competitors to mainstream smartphones. Initial reviews show these to be good solid alternatives offering a number of unique features that will no doubt gain a certain amount of market share. But what has had tongues wagging is not the mainstream offering, but the return of the so-called, “matrix phone.” The 8110, or banana phone, was made popular following its appearance in the movie the Matrix and featured a slide down keypad cover and curved body. Interestingly, the model itself had been discontinued before Nokia decided to allow its product placement in the movie.
The new version of the 8110 will come in both black and banana yellow, for those who really want to emphasise the whole banana phone thing.
Of course, Nokia explored the nostalgia angle with the re-release of the 3310, and clearly, the sales figures gave them confidence. But this may be just the beginning of a whole new take on an old strategy from Nokia. John Wick 2, an averagely successful movie featuring the former star of the Matrix, Keanu Reeves, featured another old Nokia phone, the 8810. Just why Nokia would choose to allow product placement of another now-defunct phone seemed a mystery right up until the launch of the 8110. Now, it seems apparent that Nokia is focusing on increasing market share in the smartphone sector, but accepting that the somewhat limited old-fashioned mobile phone market is ripe for the plucking, and one that the traditional mobile phone maker could easily dominate quickly, and used to gain instant credibility.
The new version of the old 8110 will be available as a 4G phone in Europe, and be priced at around €79 – a cheap and stylish alternative for those seeking a basic mobile phone. It seems likely that should the 8110 be a hit, that other traditional mobile phones will hit the market, and we could see a significant uptake of people choosing to shirk technology in exchange for style.