Simple and cheap, it's easy to see how the roughly $50 throwback Nokia 3310 would be a phone people snap up as a second device or one for grandparents and kids. But if you've been dreaming of picking one up for yourself, you're in for a world of disappointment.
The new 3310 won't work in the US.
That's because it uses technology that US carriers don't support, specifically, the 900-MHz frequency. In order to work with a carrier such as AT&T, the 2G-only phone would have to use the 850 frequency in addition to 1900.
"It's not that we're not not launching in the US," said Patrick Mercanton, the global head of marketing for HMD Global, which makes the Nokia phone. "It's that the US takes a little bit longer to ramp up."
HMD says it's been in talks with US carriers here at the Mobile World Congress show, about selling Nokia-branded phones like the 3310. And that's critical. Although more and more brands sell their handsets through Amazon, Best Buy and their own websites, the vast majority of phones sold in the US go through carrier stores.
For Nokia to really make its mark, it'd have to get the 3310 or one of its other new phones into a carrier's portfolio. And to do that, the phone would have to have the right compatible technology and pass carrier certification.
"We'll probably end with the US at some point," Mercanton added. "It's definitely on our radar... we want to go into the US because we want to have a global launch."