Will the rebooted Nokia 3310 be a hit? Difficult to say, but as far as hype generation goes, the venerable phone is currently riding the crest of a wave of nostalgia. Surprising, perhaps, but not entirely unexpected, given the boom in retro tech products over the past few years.
Vinyl may have had its lunch money taken by cassettes and CDs decades ago, but even as digital music sales and streaming hit the physical music media market hard, it has been staging a remarkable comeback with healthy double-digit growth over the past few years. Likewise, the venerable Polaroid camera has been selling again of late after decades of irrelevance led the company to file for bankruptcy in 2001.
There are several other examples as well. Perhaps it’s a consumer pushback against a digital, always-connected world—or, perhaps, nostalgia for what seems, in retrospect, simpler times. Whatever the reason, as long as retro sells, companies will continue to mine the past for such artifacts. Expect to see more surprise hits.
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