Top 10 Best Selling Nokia Phones Of All Time : Photos, Years Released, and Sales Figures

"There was a time in recent tech history when even if you combine the sales of all of Nokia's direct competitors in the handset industry for an entire year, the total amount still won't be enough to match even a third of Nokia's sales figures. Nokia was that big and powerful," a friend who's been covering the tech scene for a decade and a half now told me over coffee in a casual meet-up last night.

It's truly surreal and almost unbelievable how a seemingly unstoppable and invulnerable giant like Nokia could see the day when its main business would be fully acquired by another tech company. But last April 25, 2014, we finally saw the completion of Microsoft Corporation's acquisition of Nokia's devices and services arm -- following its sharp decline within the last three years in the face stiff competition from Apple and Android smartphone makers, most prominent of which is Samsung.

How and why it happened is now moot and academic -- although I do agree with experts who say that it's because Nokia failed to effectively lead the smartphone revolution then made a series of missteps while trying to compete in that new battlefield.

Anyway, according to insiders, the total sum of the transaction is 5.44 Billion Euros, which Microsoft will pay in cash. Nokia will get 3.79 Billion Euros in exchange for the above-mentioned departments and Microsoft will even pay an extra 1.65 Billion Euros for a 10-year non-exclusive license to use Nokia's existing patents. Also, upon the close of the transaction, the name of Nokia Corporation/Nokia Oyj will change to Microsoft Mobile Oy. Henceforth, Microsoft Mobile Oy will be the the legal entity name that will be used on all pertinent business documents.

Pinoy Nokia fans' reactions to the landmark acquisition and change of name are mixed -- though, most - at this point - are hopeful. TP Friend Gerald de Peralta shared, "To Microsoft: You know how legendary Nokia mobile phones and smartphones are. I, for one, tried to switch to another brand of mobile phone [years ago], but it's a mystery why I always kept ending up with a Nokia handset -- from a 3210, to a 3310, to a 6600, to a 5800XM. I hope Nokia mobile phones' reputation will live on in the new company and its products, whether you rename the new company as 'Microsoft Mobile' or whatever." Rodel Camarillo added, "I believe Nokia with Microsoft will make a difference in the future that will make people love [this merger]. Also, Nokia's camera is the best of all - better than any Android phone or iPhone camera - [so that's a big plus]. Thumbs up, Nokia team!" Finally, Kyle Cruz said, "They are off to make a direct competitor for the iPhone in terms of exclusivity and quality. The best of luck to Microsoft."

As a Nokia fan myself, the feeling is bittersweet. I've owned many, many Nokia phones - from Nokia 5110 all the way to Nokia Lumia 1020 - and I witnessed the Finnish Giant at its strongest, which was back in 1998 to 2010. I can say I'm quite familiar with the key strengths of Nokia as a phone company so I really thought that it could eventually recover on its own and lead the industry again as an independent handset maker -- even if it takes time. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed with sadness when I learned last year that Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's devices business was already in the works and it was further amplified with the news that the Nokia branding would be no more.

Although I'm hopeful that Microsoft Mobile would retain most of the things that I loved about Nokia and reach heights that my favorite Finnish brand couldn't have reached on its own, this feeling of sadness still lingers. To be honest, I did this post to somehow make me feel better about this seeming loss:

The Top 10 Best Selling Nokia Phones of All Time. It's my little tribute to the great phone company that was Nokia and a gentle reminder to all gadget fans of the stellar and unquestionable achievements of this beloved brand.

1. Nokia 1100 (2003) - 250 Million units sold

Best Selling Phones, Nokia 1100, Top Nokia Phones

Specifically designed for developing countries, Nokia 1100 is the best-selling handset of all time! In 2009, Nokia reinforced and reminded everyone of this lofty title by selling its 1 Billionth phone, which happened to be - guess what - a Nokia 1100. So what's my favorite Nokia 1100 feature? The flashlight, of course, that can be quickly activated by pressing and holding the C key once or by pressing it twice to lock it on while the keypad is unlocked.

2. Nokia 1110 (2005) - 250 Million units sold

Best Selling Phones, Nokia 1110, Top Nokia Phones

Practically the true follow-up to the Nokia 1100, Nokia 1110 comes with a rather cool inverted black and white display (i.e., white text on black background) out of the box. This screen looked different during its time and it also helped beef up the phone's battery life.

3. Nokia 3210 (1999) - 160 Million units sold

Best Selling Phones, Nokia 3210, Top Nokia Phones

Seen by Nokia fans as the natural upgrade from the highly iconic Nokia 5110, Nokia 3210 is one of the first handsets to have an internal antenna and sleek design -- greatly setting it apart from bulky phones with inconvenient antennae during its time. And I'm sure you all remember this: Nokia 3210 comes with three games pre-installed, namely, Memory, Rotation, and - everyone's favorite - Snake!

4. Nokia 1200 (2007) - 150 Million units sold

Best Selling Phones, Nokia 1200, Top Nokia Phones

Flaunting a dust resistant keyboard, Nokia 1200 is another basic candybar bar phone within the same family as the Nokia 1100 -- having similar key features like flashlight and loud speaker. Unlike its predecessors, however, Nokia 1200 has a Navi Key, which gives users quick access to the main sections of the interface including Messages, Settings, and Contacts.

5. Nokia 5230 (2009) - 150 Million units sold

Best Selling Phones, Nokia 5230, Top Nokia Phones

Based on Nokia 5800 XpressMusic - the world's first full touchscreen smartphone, Nokia 5230 aka Nuron is the best-selling smartphone, best-selling touchscreen handset, and best-selling Symbian-based device of all time! It features a 3.2 inch 640 x 360 nHD 16:9 display underneath a resistive touchscreen, runs Symbian OS v9.4 S60v5 with its single core 434 MHz ARM11 CPU, has a stylus, and is powered by a 1,320 mAh Li-Ion battery pack, which was already considered "huge" during its time.

6. Nokia 6600 (2003) - 150 Million units sold

Best Selling Phones, Nokia 6600, Top Nokia Phones

Featuring a rounded, pebble-like design language, status symbol Nokia 6600 was the most advanced product - both in terms of hardware and software - that the Finnish Giant released at the point. Renowned for its VGA camera, video recorder, and incredibly durable build, business-class model Nokia 6600 ran Symbian S60 2nd Edition operating system with a single core 104 MHz CPU.

7. Nokia 2600 Series including 2610, 2626, 2630 (2004) - 135 Million units sold

Best Selling Phones, Nokia 2600, Top Nokia Phones

Nokia 2600 series handsets are some of the first entry-level releases from the Finnish company to be equipped with a colored display -- a rarity at that point especially in this line's price echelon.

8. Nokia 1600 Series including 1650, 1661 (2006) - 130 Million units sold

Best Selling Phones, Nokia 1600, Top Nokia Phones

The grandchildren of Nokia 1100, Nokia 1600 series phones are the first to come with a speaking clock, a then-fresh feature by the Finnish company released around May or June 2005. Users could turn on the speaking clock by simply pressing the * button while on the home screen.

9. Nokia 3310 plus Nokia 3330 WAP-enabled variant (2000) - 126 Million units sold

Best Selling Phones, Nokia 3310, Top Nokia Phones

Almost a decade and a half since it was released by Nokia, Nokia 3310 is still as a popular as ever -- thanks to memes on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram alluding to to its legendary durability and toughness. The follow-up to the equally legendary Nokia 3210, Nokia 3310 is just as sleek as its older sibling but is even smaller and lighter, making it a joy to hold or keep in the pocket. Remember the Nokia 3310 Tarzan TVC on MTV?! This phone was, is, and will always be a rockstar!

10. Nokia 1208 plus Nokia 1209 variant (2007) - 100 Million units sold

Best Selling Phones, Nokia 1208, Top Nokia Phones

Nokia 1208 and Nokia 1209 have exactly the same features and technical specifications but the latter has an updated and - perhaps - edgier design. Although the two are entry level releases, they allow users to customize certain features (as if they're smartphones) like changing the default polyphonic ring tone with other 32 MP3 formatted ones, or changing the wallpaper and screensaver.

Just to put these sales figures in perspective: Samsung's best-selling handset thus far is the Samsung Galaxy S3 released in 2012 with 60 Million units sold. The best-selling iPhone, on the other hand, was the Apple iPhone 3GS - from 2009 - wth 35 million units sold. Both of these smartphones are in the same price category as the high-end Nokia 6600.

Some of my favorite Nokia phones, though, aren't particularly monster best-sellers but more of landmark releases for the brand. In fact, a lot of them also help me chronicle my own journey as Filipino tech blogger as well as my relationship with Nokia as a company. Check them out, TP Friends:

With Nokia N8 on June 14, 2010 at Nokia Connection 2010 in Singapore - Nokia N8 was the first smartphone from the company to run on the Symbian^3 operating system. Featuring a powerful 12 MegaPixel autofocus camera with Xenon flash, metal-clad Nokia N8 was - for many years - considered the best cameraphone in the world.

With Nokia N9 at Nokia Connection 2011 held at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on June 20, 2011 - Seen by hardcore Nokia fans as the follow-up to Maemo-powered Nokia N900, which was also one of my favorite smartphones, Nokia N9 ran on the Linux-based MeeGo operating system. Although it was the last device from Nokia to run this homegrown OS, its polycarbonate monoblock design identity nonetheless lived on in future WP-based Lumia releases and its interface - replete with squircle icons - could somehow still be seen on Asha phones.

With the first prototype unit of Nokia 808 PureView in the Philippines during the launch of Nokia Lumia 900 and 600 in the country on May 21, 2012 held at The Fort in Taguig City. Flaunting an incredible 41 MegaPixel camera with Carl Zeiss Lens and Xenon flash housed in a ginormous module protruding at the back of the device, collector's item Nokia 808 PureView is still widely considered by mobile imaging experts as the best cameraphone ever produced and released.

At the formal launch of Nokia Lumia 1020 in the Philippines last October 2, 2013 at Ayala Museum in Makati City. If there's any smartphone that comes close to (if not altogether rivals) Nokia 808 PureView in terms of imaging prowess, it has to be the Windows Phone based Nokia Lumia 1020. It has more or less the same 41 MegaPixel sensor as the Symbian Belle powered handset but it also comes with improved low-light performance just like the handsome Nokia Lumia 920, which was my daily phone for many months prior to the release of this badboy.

With Nokia Lumia 1520 last October 28, 2013 at Nokia World 2013 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Nokia's first ever phablet (or smartphone-tablet hybrid), Nokia 1520 runs Windows Phone 8 operating system with its powerhouse Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset and features a massive 6-inch Full HD Nokia ClearBlack IPS display with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protection.

At the official launch of Nokia X Android smartphone on March 12, 2014 held in Makati City, Philippines. Flaunting a 4-inch WVGA IPS display and a sturdy unibody polycarbonate shell, Nokia X is the first ever device from the Finnish company to run on an Android-based operating system (called Nokia X Software Platform) -- albeit sans Google services. And in lieu of Android's default multitasking panel, it comes with Fastlane, a screen that lets people switch between their favorite apps more smoothly and quickly browse through their activities.

To wrap this up, let me repeat the statement that I posted on this blog last April 21, 2014: It's no secret to all of you that I love Nokia. I love Nokia not only because I deeply believe in their products and services but also because the Finnish company believed in me when I was but blogging in my bedroom unsure of what he future holds for TechPinas. Nokia was the first company to invite me to a tech event and to bring me outside the country for their conferences -- from Singapore to United Arab Emirates. TechPinas was an ally of Nokia during its glory days and it will remain that way until the dusk of the Finnish Giant's independent handset business and well into its rebirth in Microsoft. That's just the way I do things; I repay loyalty with loyalty, trust with trust.

I can't deny that I feel sad that the spirited company I deeply love will now be - practically - just a subsidiary or an arm of another company. Nonetheless, I'm sure that this acquisition will herald a new era or chapter for Nokia's devices business -- one where, I'm confident, they'll release the best devices they'll ever make. I look forward to more cameraphones that set the standard in mobile imaging, more handsets and tablets with stunning designs and highly-durable construction, and amazing innovations that we haven't seen before. Personally, regardless of what happens or a change in name, I will continue to support Nokia just like how the company has been consistently supportive of me and TechPinas through all these years. And I hope you will too.

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