Microsoft's new Nokia 130 arrives for $25

Microsoft's new Nokia 130 arrives for $25

Summary: After cutting the bulk of people behind Nokia feature phones, Microsoft has launched a new cheap device for the billion or so first-time mobile buyers.

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2014-08-11 12.20.49 pm
The Series 30-based Nokia 130. Image: Microsoft

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.

Read more on Microsoft Devices

Topics: Mobility, Microsoft, Nokia

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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Talkback

10 comments
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  • Battery life

    How many weeks does the battery last?
    Sacr
  • full cycle

    now all it needs is to become a flip phone.
    ForeverSPb
  • I think this is just MS desparately trying to

    get a significant piece of *some* market. The lowest end dumb phone. With no internet connectivity and no windows, I don't see how this in any way will benefit them. How much profit can be made on something like this? Then there's this problem:

    "the Nokia 130 doesn't connect to the internet, which means no Bing, Outlook, or other apps,"

    So explain this MS statment:

    "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.

    Sounds like a continuing conflicted strategy.
    drwong
    • Big fish, small pond

      LG still makes one or two dumbphones. Samsung still makes one or two dumbphones. It's not a place either company puts a lot of focus on. Microsoft making a dent in a relatively unguarded market might be an easier fight to win.

      Joey
      voyager529
    • Your failure to understand the scheme...

      First, get the first time, non-mobile users to go for the cheap "non-smartphone" devices...

      Then, slowly get them to recognize the low-cost options available with the low-end Nokia devices, which aren't really that much more in price than the low-cost "non-smart"/feature-phone devices.
      adornoe@...
  • Great!

    Now my wife can finally upgrade her phone. Been using vintage Nokias all this time. No interest in smartphones or anything more complicated to use!
    d_baron@...
  • Yeah

    Smart phones are neat but I have computers for that stuff. I'll take a cheap phone with long battery life.
    lbshultz
  • still more space for good cheap phones

    The world is not for heavyweight smart phones, changing version no without any noticeable changes, so more and more low price phones and smart phones, we are waiting.
    ricohpk@...
  • Interesting...

    I might get one as a secondary phone, for when I'm out in a nightclub etc.
    bean520-0b405
  • Hey!

    A lot of people out there just want a mobile phone!

    Not everyone wants a tiny expensive "Mug ME!" computer in their pockets sucking cash out of their bank account. A device which is not dead in a few hours but lives for weeks between charges is worth more than a dead smartphone in an emergency...
    dumb blonde