The Mobile World Congress is currently underway in Barcelona, and one of the recurring trends we're seeing is the revival of mobile phone brands that have seen better days. Nokia just launched a trio of smartphones, and relaunched the iconic Nokia 3310. BlackBerry also made a comeback of sorts with the KeyOne.
While the leading smartphone manufacturers decided to stay at home and host their own product launches, other companies decided to take advantage of their absence to grab a piece of the limelight.
Nokia came up with the Nokia 6, Nokia 5, and Nokia 3, which are all stock Android handsets aimed toward the middle to low market. HMD Global, the company licensed to come up with Nokia phones, also relaunched an upgraded version of the Nokia 3310.
The Nokia 3310 is known for its long battery life, and the company says that the newer version is no different, claiming that the phone in idle mode can last a month-long battery life. However, note that the new version is not an upgrade, but a mere reissue of the phone. It does not have Wi-Fi and 3G so it can only be used for texting and talking.
TCL plans to revive the BlackBerry brand with the launch of the KeyOne — a handset that offers the full Android experience while still retaining the traditional keyboard, a design feature commonly associated with BlackBerry.
TCL also bought the rights to use the Palm name from Hewlett-Packard back in 2015 with plans to revive the brand, but so far nothing has come out of it.
Are Brand Revivals A Good Thing For Technology?
The nostalgia trend in technology is not something new. Nintendo came up with a palm-sized version of its iconic game console and called it the NES Classic. Classic PC games are also being revived, such as Wolfenstein, Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy XV, and Resident Evil.
The resurgence of these great brands attempting to win back the hearts of its consumers is a two-sided coin. While this phenomenon harkens back to the good, old times, that means there is also less room for innovation as manufacturers would rather depend on jazzed up versions of their older models rather than coming up with new cutting-edge technology.
By failing to bring anything new to the table, these phones won't be a necessity but rather, a mere novelty. It is going to take a lot more than nostalgia in order to make a mark in today's discriminating smartphone users.