Throwback Thursday: Nokia – the Coolest Mobile Around

Posted by IAB Australia On July 30, 2014

Yes, that is true, Nokia was the coolest mobile phone around back in the late 80’s and through the 90’s. Nokia was one of the key driving forces of innovation around mobile phone technology which has resulted in the smartphones and mobile technology we rely on today.

Nokia was not the only early innovator around mobile technology. The likes of Motorola and Ericsson were great pioneers in this space too. I mean, who can ever forget the scenes of Michael Douglas from “Wall Street” back in 1987 looking so incredibly awesome carrying around “The Brick”. Yep, that enormous Motorola phone was quite possibly the first mobile phone to ever appear in a movie. Don’t be fooled by the fact it was bigger than a small child, cost around $4,000 to buy and only gave you about 30 minutes of talk-time; that phone was the envy of every Wall Street banker.

But it was Nokia that really seemed to best understand the growing customer need and they released a flurry of new mobile phone models that kept pushing the boundaries of mobile technology. Yep, that’s right, Nokia phones were cool and edgy, believe it or not because they had a solid understanding of design and aesthetic.

Many early versions of Nokia phones through the 90’s were capable of handling short-message-service technology, or SMS as we know it today.

Nokia were true pioneers of the smartphone market, with the release of the 9000 series Communicator phones from 1996 onwards. These phones were quite literally the beginning of wrapping all incumbent digital technology into a phone. Yep, it was hard to believe that it was Nokia that brought us the first all-in-one phone, combining fax, calendar, email and internet access.

Nokia understood design mattered. And again, they led the way by introducing the first phones with user-interchangeable covers with the release of the Nokia-5100 series back in 1998.

Nokia realised that people wanted smaller phones, that met the changing consumer needs and trends, focused on greater mobility and communication. They released some of the most popular handsets of all-time with iconic phones such as the 3210, 3210 and onwards up to the 6210.

These phones were legendary. Who can forget playing that wonderful snake game on the monochrome screens.

We all now how this story ends, with Nokia finally losing its place as the leading innovator and ultimately any true relevance in the smartphone world when the new breed of these deivces arose with the release of the very first iPhone.

But it is largely in part to Nokia that many today use mobiles in the way we do. So next time you find a date through Tinder, order a taxi through Uber, book a hotel through Airbnb or call a friend or loved-one through Skype/ FaceTime, make sure you tip your hat to Nokia.

IAB Australia

IAB Australia is the peak trade association for online advertising in Australia. As one of over 43 IAB offices globally and with a rapidly growing membership, the role of the IAB is to support sustainable and diverse investment in digital advertising across all platforms in Australia.