This is what Google looked like on a phone from 2001


The web was created for computers. As a result, in the 2000s, browsing was equivalent to sitting in front of a computer. Moreover, it took time for mobile Internet traffic to finally exceed that of computers. As a result, 20 years ago, few people connected to a website from a phone. At the time, the Nokia 3310 was one of the most popular phones in the world. It was another era!

What you might not know is that Nokia has released an improved version of this iconic phone: the Nokia 3330. In fact, it’s almost the same product. But on the 3330, the Finnish brand has added a feature allowing the user to connect to the internet via WAP technology.

Yes, in 2001 it was already possible to go to the web from a smartphone, although the functionalities were limited and the display was far from ergonomic, on a Nokia 3330 screen. This was recently recalled by a publication of Jon Erlichman, journalist at Bloomberg, in a tweet. “Early Days of Web Search on a Phone”, he wrote in his publication. The short video he shares shows a Nokia opening the Google homepage.

Mobile internet in 2001, it looked like this

If you want to learn more about internet access on this 2001 phone, you can also watch the video below from the Nostalgia Nerd channel. In the video, he recalls that the difference between the Nokia 3310 and the Nokia 3330 was the internet connection via WAP available on the 3330.

As a reminder, WAP was a standard allowing access to information from the web on telephones at the time, because they did not support HTML.

In his video, Nostalgia Nerd tested the internet connection of the 3330 and if the technology used, rendered obsolete, is no longer supported by many websites, it is still supported by Google. By typing in the address bar, the channel was able to access a version of the search engine for basic phones. There is even a Google Images link but of course, as the screen is rudimentary, no image is displayed.

For video, Nostalgia Nerd has even created a Nokia 3330-supported version of its website. And it works !

In turn, will smartphones become obsolete?

Computers aren’t going away anytime soon, but today, we connect more on smartphones than on PCs. Mobile optimizations made by websites, and the evolution of smartphones have meant that since 2015, Google has for example more mobile traffic than computer traffic.

And moreover, today, we are already predicting the end of the golden age of smartphones, in favor of a new type of medium: virtual reality or augmented reality platforms. This is why, for example, Meta spends lavishly to develop its metaverse and its augmented reality and virtual reality headsets or goggles.

“While I expect phones to remain our primary devices for most of this decade, at some point in the 2020s we will have game-changing augmented reality glasses that will redefine our relationship with technology”wrote Mark Zuckerberg in 2020.

For its part, Apple is also preparing the launch of its first virtual reality and augmented reality headset. And according to some indiscretions, the firm would expect this type of product to replace the iPhone in 10 years.


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