Twenty years ago Tampere was an especially interesting place to live for a small boy, who was into technology. It was a city of Nokia housing many kinds of activities of the company. I was born and raised there. I remember the Nokia buildings, I remember the exciting new phones, that weren’t so common as nowadays and I remember the ringtones – how cool were they!!
Especially well I remember when a relative showed me how images from his digital camera could be transferred to his Nokia 9210 Communicator and viewed from its screen. What magic was that back then! Also, I can’t forget seeing the staggeringly beautiful Nokia 8850 in real life for the first time. It was like a piece of jewellery, tiny, shiny, elegantly designed and colored, yet still featuring all the important functions. (At that time phones were usually so much bigger and a bit clumsy, as my mums 5110.) Obviously, I wanted to have both the Communicator and the 8850. My parents of course never bought me the hideously expensive phones, but one Christmas I was surprised. One present was a Nokia 8810 – dummy version – but nevertheless a beautiful piece. My dear dad had contacted Nokia and kindly they had provided a non-working sample for the young Nokia enthusiast! I was proud. I took the silvery phone everywhere, it was with me at friends and at parties. When it was time to start going to school I got my first actually operating phone, the 3310 with red Ferrari Xpress-on covers.
Through a number of Nokias (of which the 5310 XpressMusic is still my absolute favourite) we arrive to year 2008 when I was able to get some money of my own through a summer job. Suddenly I started to think how cool it would be to own those phones I wanted as a kid. I got the 8850 and the 9210 and boy was that sweet to have them finally! Also, around that time Nokia’s fairytale started to reach its end, unfortunately, and that sealed my future as a Nokia phone collector. It felt important to build a collection which could remind us about the company’s extraordinary story which changed the world forever. Because of this aspect, for a long time I had had in mind that I would like to arrange a phone exhibition. Finally, this year in February I got the chance and held a Nokia phone exhibition at my University’s library in Otaniemi. It turned out to be a success. It was awesome to meet many ex-Nokian’s there who were kind to share their stories with me! Also, originally the exhibition was planned to last 2 weeks, but the staff requested for the phones to stay on exhibit for a month. It also tells how much we all still love Nokia and the good old days!
A lot has changed in twenty years but even though Nokia doesn’t anymore manufacture phones, its impact can still be seen in our everyday lives; thanks to Nokia’s brilliant technologies we have the chance to stay connected safely during these exceptional times of Covid-19.
The author Rasmus Hakala has a collection of over 100 Nokia phones. He is also a petrol head with a great passion for cars – also for electric despite the expression : ) Currently he is studying Industrial engineering and management at Master level in Aalto University and planning his future career. If he had been born twenty years earlier, his career plans would’ve been very clear!