Nokia Launches Staggeringly Cheap Phones: More Mobiles For More People

Who says new technology has to be expensive? Not Nokia! For years, the company has maintained a wild market share dominance by focusing heavily on getting phones to developing markets -- markets where cellphones have yet to really grab hold. When Nokia sneaks in first, entire nations tend to grab on and start using their technology. Now, the company has launched two of their less expensive phones ever. The Nokia 100 and 101 are being aimed at large parts of Africa and Asia, where data rates are usually crazy expensive and being able to own a mobile is tough for many citizens.

Nokia claims that the main reason behind the launch of the 100 and 101 is that for the "‘next billion’ mobile users, a reliable, inexpensive, regular phone is a lot more relevant." And that makes total sense. Te Nokia 101 and 100 are low-cost phones based on the Series 30 operating system. The difference between the two is that the Nokia 101 supports dual-SIM and has an MP3 player. Designed with the fact in mind that these phones are often shared between families, they can support up to five separate address books and store personalisation details for up to five different SIM cards.

The display has a grid-based system of icons, as the company needs the phones to be usable by people who haven’t had the opportunity to learn to read. There’s an integrated flashlight – a handy addition for most of us, but extremely valuable if you live somewhere where’s there’s only power for a few hours a day. For the same reason, the battery life is extremely good compared to what you might have learned to expect from using a smartphone. These phones can last up to 25 days on standby, or 6.7 hours talktime.

There's also an FM radio, support for memory cards and a 3.5mm AV connector. The Nokia 101 and 100 go on sale from this quarter (Nokia 101) and next (Nokia 100) in selected markets. Without local taxes or operator subsidies they’ll cost around €25 for the Nokia 101 and about €20 for the Nokia 100. Getting mobiles into the hands of more people? Excellent idea.
Tags:  Nokia, Cellphone, Symbian