Skip to main content

GLOBAL – So mobile broadband dongles are the big thing right now. Did you know Nokia had one back in 1997? A whole 11 years ago. Yessiree. Okay, it wasn’t 3G capable (what was, then?), and it didn’t fit into a USB slot (the first USB-equipped computer wouldn’t launch for another year) but it did enable users to connect to the Internet from their not-very-portable, er, portable. That was a Nokia first, you see, and below you’ll find a whole bunch more, like the first GSM car phone, the first WAP phone and the first phone with predictive text.

This week we’ll be taking a walk through Nokia’s archives and highlighting some of the things from the past that have helped shape the present and continue to help paint a picture of the future. Where possible, we’ve added a link to the device in question, so you can marvel in wonderment.

1981 – The world’s first international cellular mobile telephone network – NMT – opened in Scandinavia with Nokia introducing the first car phones for the network

1991 – The world’s first genuine GSM call made using Radiolinja’s network, supplied by Nokia (with a Nokia car phone)

1992 – The Nokia 100 series, the first family of handportable phones for all analog networks.

1992Nokia 6050 car phone, the first GSM car phone

1992 – The Nokia 1011, the first GSM hand-portable phone

1992 – The Nokia 6000, the first TDMA phone

1994 – The Nokia 2100 series, the first digital handportable phones supporting data, fax and the Short Message Service.

1994 – The Nokia 2110 introduces the iconic ‘Grand Valse’ monophonic ring tone

1996 – The Nokia 9000 Communicator, the first all-in-one phone, fax, calendar, e-mail and Internet in handportable size.

1997 – The Nokia 8110i, the first mobile phone with a dynamic menu supporting Smart Messaging.

1997 – The Nokia 3810, the first mobile phone specially designed for Asian consumers, with a large full-graphics display and Asian language interfaces.

1997 – The Nokia Cellular Card Phone, a PC card with a built-in GSM phone. For voice and data communications in a notebook PC and in integrated solutions.

1997 – The Nokia 2180, the first dual-mode CDMA phone with a CDMA chip set developed by Nokia.

1998 – The Nokia 5100 series, the first mobile phones with user-changeable covers.

1998 – The Nokia 9110 Communicator, the first hand-held mobile terminal supporting wireless imaging.

1999 – The Nokia 6185, the first tri-mode / dual band CDMA phone.

1999 – The Nokia 7110, the first mobile phone compliant with the Wireless Application Protocol 1.1, for access to mobile Internet services such as banking, email and news.

1999 – The Nokia 7110, the first phone with predictive text input (T9)

1999 – The Nokia 8210, the first phone designed and launched in cooperation with the fashion industry.

2000 – The Nokia 6210, the first GSM product in the world to receive certification of the GSM Certification Forum (GCF).

2000 – The Nokia 3310, the first mobile phone with a unique chat function, which allows the user to have a conversation, similar to the chat services on the Internet, with the other party by using short messages.

2001 – Nokia makes the world’s first 3G WCDMA voice call on commercial 3GPP system

2001 – The Nokia 8310, Nokia’s first GPRS phone

2001 – The Nokia 8310 brings FM radio to the Nokia product range

2001 – Nokia launches its first dedicated digital music device, the Nokia 5510

2001 – The Nokia THR850, the world’s first TETRA terminal with WAP functionality

2001 – The Nokia 7650, Nokia’s first imaging phone with an integrated camera (VGA)

2001 – The Nokia 7650, Nokia’s first MMS phone

2002 – The Nokia 6340, the world’s first dual-band/tri-mode GAIT (GSM ANSI Interoperability Team) compliant handset

This is only a snapshot of Nokia’s history though. There’s a load more to marvel at in The Story of Nokia. I have to say though, the one thing that stood out for me amongst all these is the 6210. Not because of its certification, simply because it’s one of the finest phones ever made. I think I had three in the end, and each one just seemed to last forever, until my abject and relentless cruelty to handsets for which I’m renowned made them virtually unusable. Even then, they’d still switch on. Respect.

Quick history lesson, what was your first Nokia? Can you remember? Share below.

Picture from