Expensive ‘New’ Phone Causes Controversy After Basically Being A Nokia 3310
People have been left outraged over a new, expensive phone, which has been outed as just being a glorified Nokia 3310.
The ‘new’ phone is being sold on the basis of being ‘minimalist’ and reducing the features of a phone, such as ones included in smartphones, so that the phone won’t have ‘too much control’ over a person’s life.
However, the phone has received backlash online due to its features resembling, suspiciously closely, that of a Nokia 3310. It’s price however, is far from it.
The Mudita Pure is a mobile phone that can only do the basics, which its company says is the whole point.
It can make calls and send texts, but can’t take photos, email or access social media. You can’t even play any games on it.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Poland-based company Mudita has been set up by entrepreneurs in the aim of establishing the ‘product category of minimalist phones’. The Mudita Pure is subsequently supposed to act as ‘an antithesis to the colourful, multifunctional and addictive smartphones that [the company] believe[s] can have too much control over modern lives’.
However, while Mudita may indeed be right that smartphones take up too much of people’s lives in the modern day, what some people think the company hasn’t got quite right is the price of it’s new ‘minimalist’ phones.
Twitter user @_ratcan took to the platform to call the idea ‘dumb*ss’ , linking a picture of a Nokia 3310 which they state is ‘a 20th of the price’. The Mudita Pure by way of comparison, totalling a tidy sum of $369.
However, Petter Neby, founder and chief executive of Punkt Tronics AG, a Swiss minimalist phone startup, has pointed out certain details and differences between Nokia’s ‘feature phones’ of the 2000s and more up-to-date minimalist devices.
Neby explained how most feature phones cram their features into a limited operated system, and so follow a ‘design philosophy of abundance’. However, more recent minimalist phones, such as Punkt’s MPO2 model ($349), are said to take away any distracting features, even if the operating system could take on more. ‘A minimalist phone should be a hammer, not a Swiss Army knife,’ Neby told the Wall Street Journal.
However, in the age of 2021, how likely is it that people will want minimalist phones? Devices such as the Mudita Pure have had backers partially fund them from community-driven campaigns, which means buyers who have put in a pre-order have had influence over how the phone should work.
Backers have liked the concept, although some have said that having access to group messaging apps is non-negotiable. Some have also shared their preference for a camera or method for navigation.
Minimalist phones also appeal due to people who are concerned about online privacy. Author on technology’s impact on humanity, Kate O’Neill told the Wall Street Journal: ‘The other piece here is for those with an anticonsumerist bent, those who want to scale back their consumerist impulses.’
Investors are not always so keen on minimalist phones which aim for people to be less invested in the consumerist culture of upgrades. Director of emerging technology devices at Strategy Analytics Inc., Ken Hyers, said he’d be ‘pretty cautious’ as an investor, due to cash flow not being as consistent as customers would not seek upgrades.
Kaiwei Tang, co-founder of another minimalist phone, Light Phone, stated:
My investors want this option to be available to the public. I feel like we’re creating a balance on this side of the technology spectrum.
According to Kasia Bocheńska, the product lead at Mudita, there have been more than 1,500 Pure orders so far as a result of crowdfunded campaigns, despite the internet’s apparent dismay at the price of the phone compared to that of a Nokia.
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