It’s been sometime since we wrote about cheap feature phones for the BoP. Around seven years, if my search does not mislead. But here goes Microsoft. We wish them success.
The company billed the €19 device as “the most affordable mobile phone with video and music player”. In both cases, the ability to add content via the microSD expansion slot was highlighted, no doubt due to the lack of high-speed data support (it is dual-band GSM only, with no WiFi).
Citing figures from Strategy Analytics, Microsoft said that 300 million devices from the “below $35” category are sold every year.
Obviously, the Nokia 130 specification reflects the fact that it has been built to a price: it has a 1.8-inch colour screen, FM radio and Bluetooth, but no camera. A dual-SIM version is also promised.
But the modest specification also brings benefits: it supports up to 46 hours of continuous music playback on a single charge, or delivering up to 36 days standby in single-SIM form.
Nokia 130 will be available in “select” markets, including China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam.
From what we can tell, not including Myanmar in the list is a good idea. They seem fixated on smartphones.