HMD’s MWC 2017 event was certainly… something else, with the promise of “pure”, secure and up to date Android for the Nokia 3, 5 and 6 smartphones, unexpected Withings brand retirement, and especially that terse, nostalgic, tongue-in-cheek announcement of a refreshed Nokia 3310 feature handset.
But as the initial 3310 (2017) excitement (read bemused curiosity) starts to die down, it’s time for some serious talk. Despite HMD’s advertised global focus “from day one”, it turns out the new Snake-playing, big battery-packing, colorful body-rocking Nokia 3310 lacks the most basic cellular support for many key markets around the world.
Most prominently, the US and Canada, although the list goes on, and it will only get lengthier over the coming years, months even, as more countries repeal the 2G standards of the old days. If HMD Global (yup, they even have “global” in the company name) truly wants to spread the new-age Nokia 3310 love, a bit of under-the-hood work is needed to enable 850 and 1900 MHz frequencies alongside 900/1800 technology included out the box.
Alas, the Finland-based exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand plays coy about plans to bring the updated 3310 stateside down the line, as CEO Arto Nummela essentially tells us to wait and see. “There are opportunities, hopefully in the future”… whatever that means, with head of global marketing strategy & planning Patrick Mercanton sounding a little more optimistic and clear in stressing that the US “takes a little bit longer to ramp up”, and “we’ll probably end with the US at some point.” Make it soon, make it cheap, and especially, make it durable.