Microsoft today unveiled a cheap, internet-enabled Nokia phone that it hopes will help it increase its market share in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
The phone costs $29 (€24) and comes with the Opera Mini Browser and Facebook Messenger built in, and can run Twitter and other apps. Despite that, it is mostly a low-spec phone — with a 320 x 240 pixel display, a 0.3 megapixel camera, a radio and a torch as its headline features.
But that is likely to help it pick up buyers in the budget market, especially in developing countries. And the lack of hi-tech features mean that it is a robust phone, built to be durable and with a battery that can last up to a month. The software is also built for more difficult terrains, and the built-in apps can work without a 3G connection.
And the torch might sound like a minor addition, but Microsoft points out that it will be useful in the markets that it hopes the phone will be shipping into — such as the 20% of the world that don’t have regular access to electricity.
Microsoft announced the phone as its “most affordable internet-ready entry-level phone yet”, saying that it would be “perfectly suited for first-time mobile phone buyers or as a secondary phone for just about anyone”.
The phone will be released in Europe as well as the Middle East, Africa and Asia in the first quarter of 2015. It is available in a normal version as well as a dual SIM one.