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Mobile phones and teenagers were already making a connection, at least in the USA, in 1995. Alicia Silverstone played Cher in the film Clueless, a comedy drama about the ups and downs of high school life in Beverly Hills. Her phone was the Nokia 232, giving Nokia a second celebrity endorsement and a rather different image from that of Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union, who was seen using the Nokia Cityman 1320 in 1989.
Frank Nuovo designed the 232 for Nokia. He designed the 232 to be futuristic, but nevertheless true to Nokia’s tradition of form follows function. In 1995 Nuovo joined Nokia permanently and spent his time between the USA and Finland.
The 232 was a neat, small design for style conscious customers. Technically the Nokia 232 was also impressive, with 16 hours of standby time and a 98 number memory when Nokia launched it in 1994. It was a consumer product rather than a business phone. Nuovo called the 232 the Ferrari of phones.
It had plenty of external recognition as well. The UK’s ‘What Cellphone’ magazine was impressed by the Nokia 232. It won the ‘What Cellphone Best Consumer Phone’ award for 1994-5. ‘What Cellphone’ recognised its sharp style. The 232 also took the Design Award for 1995 and the magazine still recommended it in 1997. (Source: http://www.mobilephonehistory.co.uk/nokia/nokia_232.php)