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Throwback Thursday: Nokia - the Coolest Mobile Around

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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.

My time in the digital industry: Almost 15 years (makes me feel old just writing that)

My mission at Domain.com.au: Ultimately my mission is to create engaging user experiences for our audience. This is driven from a strong belief that we hold both a user-centric and data driven perspective and focus when delivering on our overall business objectives and goals.

My special blog topics: Product development, digital industry trends and insights as well as a look back into the past to revisit some of the technologies that we used to love.

Digital trend I'm most excited about: Disruption. Never before have we seen so many digital companies challenge existing business models. Often this is the result of absolute focus on a particular problem that is being solved in a far smarter way using the technology we have today.

Brand whose marketing I admire: I admire the companies that position their product and user experience to market themselves. Companies like Uber, AIrbnb and Square are great examples of this.

Favourite digital campaign of all times: Probably the way Radiohead released and promoted their "In Rainbows" album back in 2007. It was a radically different approach and done without a record company. It was a digital first approach and allowed for the album to be downloaded and fans to pay any price they wanted.

Digital tool/gadget I cannot live without: It would be a combination of my iPhone and the apps I can't live without. Those being my camera applications (used to snapshot my kids growing up) and Spotify.



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Guest Saturday, 22 October 2016