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Microsoft Launches Affordable Phone Option for Developing Markets

TMCnet Feature

August 18, 2014

Microsoft Launches Affordable Phone Option for Developing Markets

By Clayton Hamshar
Contributing Writer

Microsoft (News - Alert) has unveiled the newest Windows Phone model, the Nokia 130, as its lowest-cost option for a measly 25 dollars. The company announced it is targeted people in emerging markets who have yet to purchase a mobile phone and need a cheap alternative to the more ingrained offerings from other companies. Also, Microsoft says, the Nokia (News - Alert) 130 is ideal for people who wish to have a reliable back-up phone, the desire for which is a rising trend in developed markets.

The phone has a 1.8 inch color display and slots for one or two SIM cards, with battery life of up to 36 days of standby time with one SIM card or 26 days with two. Microsoft suggested that the extremely long battery life makes the phone ideal for areas of the world where electricity is not a consistent guarantee, and as a backup phone that can be left alone for about a month without the owner needing to worry about it.

Although it does not support apps and cannot access the Internet, this main limitation of the Nokia 130 is what allows it to be offered for such a low price. However, it does have built-in music and video players as well as an FM radio and flashlight. The microSD slot is expandable up to 32 GB of storage, which is good for 16 hours of video playback or 560 hours of music. Connectivity with other devices is simple and can be accomplished using the Bluetooth SLAM application or a traditional USB cable.

The phone is expected to start shipping to customers in the third quarter of 2014. It will be available in China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam, with more to be announced and/or added later.

Microsoft has developed this product at an ideal time, as the market for similar models will soon explode with competing models and prices for smartphones across the board continue to drop. By getting a foot in the door a bit earlier than other phone companies, Microsoft hopes to corner this segment and gain substantial market share in this previously underrepresented customer pool.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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