Microsoft has announced the Nokia 130, a new basic phone aimed at first time mobile buyers in emerging markets.
Microsoft might have sounded the death knell for its Asha and S40 feature phone ranges, but it appears it's not done yet with all of Nokia's cheaper phones. Below these two categories lie even cheaper Nokia phones, which Series 30 — with the latest addition to the lineup coming in the form of the Nokia 130, a candybar priced at €19 ($25).
Unlike the $54 Series 30-based Nokia 225 announced earlier this year, the Nokia 130 doesn't connect to the internet, which means no Bing, Outlook, or other apps, but it does offer "essentials" such as a flashlight, FM radio, and USB charging. There's also playback for video stored on microSD cards up to 32GB, and Bluetooth and USB for sharing content between devices.
While the feature phone business has been in steady decline in Western markets, Microsoft notes the Nokia 130 falls into the sub-$35 which sell in volumes of around 300 million a year globally.
"It is estimated that at least one billion people in the world still do not have a mobile phone, while at the same time there is increasing demand for reliable backup phones in both mature and high-growth markets," Jo Harlow, Microsoft's corporate vice president for phones, said.
In an interview with Re/Code, Harlow said the Series 30 is Microsoft's only offering that can reach those consumers, and the company will be sticking with the ultra low-price segment for a while yet.
Available in red, white and black, the Nokia 130 will start shipping in the third quarter of this year to markets including China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
Unless Microsoft is merely clearing out already planned devices it inherited from Nokia, the new budget device suggests it might still believe in its oft-repeated idea of cheap Nokia phones serving as an on-ramp to lower-end Windows Phone devices, which start at €85 with the Lumia 530.
"With handsets like the Nokia 130, we see tremendous potential to deliver the experience of a 'mobile-first' world to people seeking their first device, and we continue to invest in ultra-affordable devices that will introduce people to a 'cloud-first' world through Microsoft services such as Bing, Outlook.com and OneDrive," Harlow said.