Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

At Nokia, a Stroll Down Cellular Memory Lane

While most of my time in Espoo, Finland, was focused on learning about what’s coming next from Nokia, I took a little bit of time to revisit a bit of cellular history.

In the center of its grand Nokia House headquarters, the company has a showcase for some of its long-ago devices, with many more showcased in the Nokia Lounge, a swanky conference room used to meet with important visitors.

All the greatest hits (and a few of the misses) are there.

Phones of all shapes and sizes are featured, from the nearly suitcase-sized 1982 Mobira Senator to the first Communicator smartphone, among the earliest to flip open to reveal a QWERTY keyboard. There are phones with circular keypads, phones with square keypads, and a few devices with no keypads at all.

Even the ill-fated N-Gage gaming devices are there.

While there is much to admire about the modern smartphone, the Nokia collection is a reminder that physical hardware design has gotten a lot more uniform — and, quite frankly, boring — compared to some of the wacky designs from days gone by.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik