RIP Nokia. As Microsoft announces brand phase-out we look at the phones that once ruled the earth

So goodbye Nokia, Finnish purveyor of mobile telephones.

At the dawn of the mobile era, Nokia was the emergent star. The spartan simplicity of the handsets opened the doors of mobile communication and sucked the world in.

Easily navigable buttons and uncluttered menus made new-fangled practices such as texting and storing phone numbers a breeze.

The ubiquity of the brand meant that charger compatibility was hardly an issue. Every household could be relied upon to have a Nokia charger lurking in a corner.

It was a golden era. Old and young alike texted each other, emoticons emerged, vowels were dropped, Snake was played, and people snatched care-free minutes in conversation despite being on rapacious pay-as-you go contracts.

Fast forward a decade, and Nokia’s star had been reduced from giant to dwarf.

The crushing domination of the smartphone was like watching a scientifically superior alien race arrive in shimmering motherships to decimate a naïve, trusting indigenous population.  

In the end it wasn’t so much a war, as a massacre.

The Lumia was the brand’s last defensive strategy, but in the end, even that citadel fell.

Now, Microsoft has turned off the life support machine. Less than a year after acquiring the telephone brand, the US tech giant has announced it is phasing out the Nokia name for new devices. It’s all over.

We take a trip back in time through the Nokia empire’s glory days:

Nokia 920 and Nokia Mobira Cityman from 1987

Nokia 920 and Nokia Mobira Cityman from 1987

Nokia Big

Nokia employees with an early mobile phone. Note the large size of early mobile phone handsets

Nokia 5110

The beloved Nokia 5110 in all its rainbow glory

Nokia 3310

The world dominating Nokia 3310. Bombproof, solid battery life, all round mobile trooper

Nokia Play

If you’re asking “what the hell is this?” Then say hello to the the Nokia Play. Half Game Gear, half phone. All dreadful. Was this the beginning of the end?

Nokia N92 with TV

The Nokia N92, released in 2006, had a TV inside. Awesome?

Nokia Harrys phone

Back to basics: Your correspondent’s own Nokia, purchased in 2009 and still going strong. Note bottle-opening scars on the corner indicating both durability and rich heritage. Photo via colleague’s iPhone.

Nokia Lumia

Nokia Lumia - no number of sexy photo shoots can save Nokia now. The phone is to be kept in production however, and rebranded the Microsoft Lumia.


What? They made computers too? Here are some Nokia computers in use at the Olympic Games in Moscow, 1980. Wow.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Ian Middleton

    You missed the Nokia 101. My first phone. Still have it somewhere. Chipped a tooth once pulling the aerial up. Remember aerials?

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