The greatest distinguishing feature of the Nokia 3310 is its tendency never to break, often despite the most desperate measures of its juvenile owners. It was introduced in response to requests from parents all over the world. The phone was a phenomenal commercial success, selling over 126 million units between its introduction in 2000 and its discontinuation in 2005, earning praise from tens of millions of people who bought it and never had to use it themselves.
At the turn of the 21st century, it was clear that adults were losing the war to keep mobile phones away from children. In response to the looming crisis, parents asked Nokia to design a phone that was so completely undesirable that teenagers will see getting one as a punishment, and so utterly durable that will never be able to get rid of it.
Nokia engineers rose to the challenge, and the resulting product was released in the fourth quarter of 2000, instantly becoming the year's most hated Christmas gift.
- All-plastic, impact-resistant body
- Durable acrylic screen
- Water-proof rubber keys
- Loud, obnoxious ringtones
- Snake II
Incidents and accidents involving a Nokia 3310
- In June 2001, a 13-year old boy in Montgomery, Alabama was struck by a motorcycle while walking and texting on his Nokia 3310. The boy was knocked off his feet, and the phone flew out of his hand upon impact and landed 2 meters away. The boy suffered a broken nose, a broken hip bone and had to be hospitalised for one week. The phone was undamaged beyond a chipped corner.
- In August 2003, a 15-year old girl in Singapore attempted to dispose of her Nokia 3310 by smashing it against the ground. She was bruised when the phone rebounded and hit her shin. The casing of the phone was mildly scratched, but it remained functional.
- In February 2006, a British man's Nokia 3310 fell out of his pocket as he lowered himself into his car. The man did not notice this, and went on to start the vehicle. As the car rolled out of the garage, eyewitnesses heard a loud pop and saw the car lurch visibly. Further inspection showed that one of the automobile's tires was impaled by the phone, which appeared entirely undamaged.