Feeds

Microsoft: Just what the world needs – a $25 Nokia dumbphone

Behold, an MP3 player that does phone stuff is unveiled

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft's Nokia division has revealed its latest mobile phone – but rather than the sort of high-end flagship number that's designed to take on Apple, it's taking aim squarely at the bottom of the market.

It's no less than a plastic mini-mobe that will sell for no more than €19 ($25) before taxes and subsidies.

Billed in the company's marketing materials as "an ultra-affordable mobile phone with music and video player," the Nokia 130 targets the kind of pre-iPod media consumers that have all but vanished from developed markets with the advent of smartphones.

And make no mistake; smart, this phone ain't. Notice that its name lacks the Lumia branding that Nokia has been hanging on all of its Windows Phone handsets so far. That's because it doesn't run Windows Phone. In fact, it doesn't even run Android, like the ill-fated Nokia X.

No, dig through this device's specs and you'll find that the Nokia 130 is nothing other than an old-fashioned dumbphone, based on an operating system described as "Nokia OS Series 30+."

It doesn't do mobile data at all. It supports only 2G GSM on the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands, although it is available in an optional dual-SIM version. That said, it claims a maximum talk time of 13 hours and a standby time of up to 36 days with one SIM or 26 days with two. It also includes a built-in FM radio.

Nokia 130

The Nokia 130 is small, it makes calls, it plays media, and it comes in three colors. And that's about it.

For media playback, customers must supply their own microSD cards up to 32GB. Nokia claims the device can play back music for up to 46 hours and video for up to 16 hours on a single charge – but given that the Nokia 130 only has a 1.8-inch screen with 160-by-128 QQVGA resolution and no ports for hooking up external displays, it's doubtful most owners will be watching much video.

Arguably, Microsoft hasn't marketed a music player this dumbed-down since the original Zune. But in this case, it's clearly that sub-€20 price point that's meant to attract customers, not the device's features.

Nokia has remained a strong contender in the low-end phone market even as its fortunes failed in the smartphone wars, and it would be unwise for Microsoft to give up those sales when other areas of its hardware business are still a drain on its bottom line.

As for why Redmond decided to price its latest mobe in Euros rather than some other currency, that's anybody's guess – and don't get your hopes up. Far from launching in Europe, the company says the Nokia 130 will only be available in farther-flung "select markets," including China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.