Microsoft Targets Basic Phone Users, Launches $25 Nokia 130 Dual SIM Phone
Microsoft wants to cover all categories of consumers and has plans to reach even those who can’t afford a smartphone. Few weeks after Microsoft announced to kill the Nokia X series, Microsoft Devices Group introduced the latest Nokia 130 mobile phone that provides basic functionality we used to get in Nokia mobile phones a decade ago.
Nokia 130 features a 1.8-inch screen, can play MP3 and videos along with FM radio and flashlight, and supports USB charging and microSD storage up to 32 GB. It will cost $25 (19 euros) and will support dual SIM as well. It is an old-school phone released with an aim to reach those markets where the consumers are not able to buy smartphones due to their high prices. Nokia 130 also seeks to fulfill the expectations of a first-time mobile user.
The best thing about such phones is their battery. Nokia 130 can go on 46 hours under continuous use and has a month-long battery when at standby. It can be used by smartphone users as a backup to their phones since the battery of current smartphones lasts 1-2 days.
Nokia 130 is $90 cheaper than Lumia 530 — the cheapest Windows Phone Microsoft ever introduced.
With Nokia 130, Microsoft is aiming for basic phone users in emerging markets. Although Nokia 130 doesn’t provide Internet connectivity, Microsoft hopes that these users will create Microsoft accounts at Bing and other Microsoft services when they are exposed to Internet.
“These consumers will create a Microsoft account and become part of the Microsoft ecosystem,” Microsoft corporate VP Jo Harlow said.
It is the same line that Microsoft used to justify its Nokia X Android lineup that has been discontinued now. But Nokia X was a different story. It was a way to lure Android users towards Windows Phones but Nokia 130 targets low-end users — something Nokia has been doing for years.
“As demand in the affordable mobile segment continues to grow, Microsoft remains committed to delivering market-leading mobile innovation at each and every price point,” said Harlow.
According to Microsoft, more than a billion people don’t have a cellphone. They do not have any other project to target such consumers so they are relying on ultra-affordable mobile phones to cover these markets.
Microsoft will start shipping Nokia 130 in the third quarter and it will be available in emerging markets like India, Indonesia and China. These three countries had the largest number of new mobile phone subscribers in the world during the first three months of the year, according to the survey by Ericsson.
Nokia 130 will also be available in Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Prices of smartphones have also declined rapidly in few months. Addition of new manufacturers like OnePlus and Xiaomi has resulted in a significant drop of smartphone prices but there is still much time before we see a high-end smartphone under $100 price tag.