A History of Old School Mobile Ringtones

The Mobile Ringtones Revolution.

Computer and technology gurus are coming up with new inventions every day. We have new inventions ranging from computers to mobile phones. But do you remember those days in the early 1990s when Nokia and Ericsson were the only mobile phones?

Do you remember the ring tones that were only accustomed to the phone ? Well, times have changed. The industry has evolved and invented up to date smart phones that you can easily download the ringtone of your choice.

Do you remember this scenario? You are seated in a train and an annoying loud noise that wakes all on board cuts through the atmosphere. You dig into your pocket to pick it up. Everyone on the train now knows which embarrassing ringtone is your favourite.

Fast-forward to current modern technology and the newest phones that have come up with the modern classic tunes, we still cannot forget where we came from. Way back in the day, there were mono and polyphonic ringtones that were a million miles away from their modern counterparts.
So in this article we are going to look at, among other things 1990’s ring-tones that were mainly used on the classic Nokia 3310 mobile phone. This phone almost defines the history of the ringtone.

We chose to look at this handset since it was a reliable phone that was owned by vast numbers of people. It had a total of 35 built-in ringtones.

The ring tones are graded from the best to least played ringtone on the Nokia 3310. This reminds me of when we played the ring tones up and down out of boredom.

The 1990s

There was among other phones a Nokia 3310. Here we will look at the ringtones.
  1. Nokia TuneHonestly this tone had a big fan club. It was the signature tone of the Nokia in the 1990s for most people. Before the year 2010 the Nokia Tune used to be played 1.8 billion times in one day which translated to 20,000 times per second. Imagine that! This is one ring tone that you had to find in almost all the Nokia mobile phones. The tone is iconic to the brand name – Nokia
  2. Ring RingThe names is just as the name itself – Ring Ring. Its continuously rang with an as the volume went up. You can hardly ignore such a ring tone. It just had to let you know to kindly pick the phone or I will not stop adding the volume
  3. Low ToneJust as the name suggest it is a bit low. Currently the ring tone has 83,684 downloads by year 2017
  4. MosquitoWhat a name for a ring tone. Imagine the never ending buzz of a mosquito? Well, the mosquito ring tone as the name suggest has a sharp tone. Its sounds like it was designed to woo teenagers
  5. We Wish You a Merry ChristmasCan you imagine playing a merry Christmas song in March?. Awkward! This high pitched Christmas carol had a 30 day window when you select it as your ring tone
  6. PlaygroundThe jingle of Haribo. Plays on a high pitch and a low pitch. Start with a high and ends with a low
  7. RocketIt is a short ring tone but it repeats itself until the call drops. It was distinctive from the rest of the ring tones
  8. Mozart 40The tone screams quite a lot – just like a tinny digest in G Minor. This was one of the choices that one selected due to its ‘screaming’ tone. You cannot fail to hear that one.
On the other hand, the Ericsson mobile phones which had been on the market since the early 1990’s tended to have a small collection of standard tones. It was the Nokia which had a whole variety to choose from.


The mobile phone market saw a breakthrough in the 2000’s which revolutionized the way we communicate. With improvements in technology came the latest mobiles like the Samsung Galaxy.  You could select and install music apart from the standard tunes.
At Ringtonesearch.com we deal with the era before smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy, so let’s take a look at some popular phones from the 2000’s

Here are 7 mobile phones that revolutionized the market in the 2000′ s and beyond.

  1. T- Mobile SideKick: 2002
  2. The Motorola Nexus One: 2004
  3. iPhone 3G: 2007
  4. Black Berry Curve 8900: 2009
  5. Nokia 7110: 2010
  6. Samsung Galaxy: 2011
  7. The iPhone 6: 2016
All these mobile phones came with features that support diverse ringtones. They shaped the market and advanced the ringtone goodness of our mobiles.
Those are some of the iconic ring tones that are in the old fashioned Nokia 3310. Not forgetting that the industry has revived the mobile phones and upgraded it to the latest technology of mobiles.
We love to have the best ring tones in our mobiles, either the latest music in the chart or the song of your best musician which plays like a ring tone. With the current technology that is achievable not like the 1990’s where the mobiles came with structured tones which could not be customized.
We have seen the market grow and revolve and recently the Nokia family re- introduced back the Nokia 3310 to the market.
The mobile still has the signature tone of the Nokia tune which is always the first on the list. The ring tones did not change as much so there is still that feeling that 15 people will be reaching for their pockets in a conference if they have the same mobile. Yes. Nothing much changed on the ring tones.
However, there has been rise of the new sleek, flashy mobile phones suitable for the modern era. They come in different shapes, sizes, durability, memory size and you can customize the ringtones as you wish.
The current market has mobile phones from different manufacturers from Nokia, Samsung, Alcatel, Vodafone, Techno etc. There is the smart phones that has completely redefined the market with its latest technology and effectiveness.
The modern era ring tones are not just the beats- they are accompanied by Music.

Here are 5 most downloaded ring tones  from 2011

  1. Unknown Caller
  2. Hello, It’s you Drug Dealer
  3. Ex- Boyfriend. (Don’t pick it up)
  4. It’s your mother
  5. That guy that you met last night
People in the modern era want to have their mobiles ringing with the best ring tones compared to when you were limited to just having tones- plain tones with no Music. We must say that we have evolved from the 1990s to the 2000s.

Here are the top 10 ringtones of 2017

  1. The Chain Smokers- Marimba Closer
  2. Narcos
  3. Suicide squad
  4. The Last of Us Two
  5. Pen Pineapple Apple Pen
  6. Watch Dogs 2
  7. Dead Pool Marimba.
  8. iPhone Ringtone Trap Remix
  9. Sponge Bob Trap Version
  10. Panda Ultimate Marimba
Well some of the ringtones are good for the ears and some are harsh and loud. A good ringtone should be clear with clear tones. So enjoy the beats and remember to pick up the call!
Of course, if you must have something up to date, then you’re on the wrong page here. You should go and look for the best iPhone 8 deals instead. Happy hunting!