When you’re in Mexico you’ll see lots of people using the same model of cell phone. It turns out to be the Nokia 1100. It’s about the size of a Snickers bar and by skipping about 30 Snickers you could buy a Nokia 1100 cell phone with the money you saved.
Cheap, simple , and out of control. At last count, since the introduction in 2003, there are 250,000,000 Nokia 1100 phones floating around out there in the world. That’s 250 million! It’s the most successful consumer electronic device (not just phones) ever sold. I find that incredible.
I don’t remember why I first googled the Nokia 1100. But I remember visiting a Mexican friend just after I’d read about it and when I arrived at his house his ten-year old nephew was there too and guess what was in his hand? A Nokia 1100. Later, at the market another friend had one. They’re everywhere in Mexico. I shouldn’t be surprised considering how many have been sold.
This phone was designed to make a lot of people happy. It’s cheap, robust, and easy to use. It’s a cell phone for all markets, from third world to first world. It’s a simple phone for first worlders who don’t want or need a smart phone and an adequate, affordable cell phone for technologically rising countries.
I read an interesting post by Seth Godin the other day. The post was reflecting on the layers of features that are added by manufacturers trying to fill any unused space or open options. This cluttering ultimately desensitizes consumers to most of the added features.
The Nokia 1100 has avoided this trap and does a few things well, mostly just the things you only really need a cell phone to do like calls and texting. Plus it’s dust and slip resistant with a built-in flashlight (especially useful in countries without street lights). This phone can go as long as 16 days between charges!
In Mexico, I need a landline to get internet service in my house so I use the landline and Skype to take care of my phone needs. I don’t have a cell phone, but if and when I get one, the Nokia 1100 (or its descendant ) is probably the one I’ll buy.