The welcome return of the Nokia 3310

Increasing numbers of people are rejecting flash gadgets in favour of retro technology

I have this morning spent a grand total of two hours trying to reset my Apple password. I have tried the names of every sister, every pet, every boyfriend, every teacher and still I have not found a password combination to satisfy the monstrous Cloud. I am fed up with my iPhone and it seems that I am not the only one. Thankfully, this meltdown has come at just the right time: Nokia’s beloved 3310 mobile phone is being revived. Yes, that’s correct, the brick is back.

And what a relief it is too. A phone that is a phone, with only limited frills. It serves the simple purpose of allowing the owner to communicate, via text message or telephone call, and it also stores contacts. It allows limited access to the internet and the camera is a basic one. What more could you want? Foxconn, the company that is manafacturing these new Nokias, is, it seems, responding to the slow but steady increase in consumers who are disenchanted with whizzy high-tech ‘gadgets’ that do everything and nothing.

It’s not just the so-called ‘smart phones’ that we are fed up with. Sales in Polaroid-style cameras and vinyl records are on the up. We’re increasingly dismissing the Apple iCalendar – which has hitherto been a disastrous method of organisation – in favour of paper diaries, notebooks and planners. Luxury stationery company Moleskin has reported a soar in sales over 2016 and on into 2017.

In 2016, The Bookseller reported a decline in eBook sales for the first time. Last month, publishers at the Digital Book World Conference in NYC confirmed that e-book unit sales had dropped a further 16% in 2016 from 2015. James Daunt, chief executive of Waterstones has commented on the drop in sales, saying that ‘the advantages and disadvantages of digital reading are becoming better understood… This is resulting in a partial return to physical book reading as ebook reading finds its natural level.’

Of course, iPhones, Samsungs and all the other hi-tech hardware on the market will always have their loyal followers, and almost certainly dominate the market until the end of time. But it’s nice to see that that a sizeable number of people are looking up from their screens to take in the world around them. And in the meantime, any password suggestions are welcome.

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