Nokia flip phones make a comeback with 4G and a $100 price tag

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HMD Global, the Finnish company that makes Nokia phones, is bringing back a flip phone that was first introduced a decade ago. The Nokia 2720 Flip is a fresh take on Nokia’s original 2720 Fold, coming with 4G mobile internet and modern apps like Google Assistant, YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp. It has a 1.3-inch screen on the outside that shows the time and a 2.8-inch main display once flipped open. Like you could with old flip phones, users can open the new device to take a call and close it to hang up.

It’s not the first time HMD, which has the intellectual property rights to make Nokia phones, has re-released an oldie from the Nokia lineup. In the last two years the firm has brought out new versions of some of its iconic devices, including the 3310 and the 8110 “banana phone.” HMD said it has sold over 10 million of those phones to date. The 2720 Flip is one of five new devices the company is announcing at the IFA consumer technology trade show in Berlin. Among other devices the firm will be unveiling are the Nokia 6.2 and 7.2 smartphones, and a new feature phone called the Nokia 110.

Another feature phone HMD is launching is the Nokia 800 Tough, which it said will have “military grade” protection. That handset also comes with 4G and will be able to withstand accidental drops, HMD said. The firm calls it a “ruggedized” product that’s targeted at people who work — or play — in harsh weather conditions. The company has become known for being a market leader in feature phones, a segment of the industry that Counterpoint Research says has been growing in the last three years — in stark contrast with smartphone sales, which have contracted.

Feature phones are expected to generate $16 billion in hardware revenues over the next three years, according to Counterpoint, thanks in no small part to growth in emerging markets. The company is hoping to take advantage of the trend of consumers holding off from buying new phones, as people are put off by the huge price tags that accompany them. HMD CEO Florian Seiche said the firm will look to roll out next-generation 5G mobile networks on “midmarket” phones by 2020, and is making its hardware “futureproof” to get there as soon as possible.

“Software innovation is becoming more and more important,” Seiche told CNBC. “People want to hold onto their phones longer, but they should benefit from the innovation.”

Source: CNBC

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