Microsoft has just introduced a $25 phone under the company’s Nokia label. This phone does not have Internet access, but the market that Microsoft is targeting doesn’t necessarily need that kind of access. Microsoft wants to send the Nokia 130 phone to places like Africa and the Middle East.
Populations in those parts of the world want phones, but they aren’t interested in smartphones. It might be possible, too, that some people in North America may be into buying phones that aren’t hooked up to the Internet too.
What $25 Will Get You
The Nokia 130 comes with 1.8-inc LCD, flashlight, dual SIM card, can store up to 32 GB of music and videos, 16 hours of video playback time, 46 hours of music playback time, and a FM radio. As far as looks go, the 130 looks like you would expect a $25 phone to look – simple but streamlined enough to be attractive. The case is slim, it seems to come in various colors, and it’s really just a basic phone.
So why does Microsoft want to bring basic phones to places like Africa, the Middle East, and some European countries? It’s a really good way to bring the brand to other parts of the world, that’s why. As soon as people purchase the new Nokia phone, they will be prompted to sign up for a Microsoft account. Once that’s done, those people will be a part of the larger Microsoft ecosystem. Since Microsoft is pushing away from Android and getting closer to its own technology, introducing a new phone to countries in need of something basic is a great way to bring the brand to those markets.
The Nokia 130 will be available in the Middle East, Africa, and certain European countries in the coming weeks. Microsoft hasn’t stated yet whether or not the phone will be available in North America as well, but I can see a market there with elderly folks or those that are simply tired of the Internet. Basic phones do sell in North America, though they sell particularly well in parts of the world where the Internet isn’t available or isn’t important.
The other thing that might be appealing about the Nokia 130 is that it’s cheap. While smartphones can be very expensive stretching into the hundreds, a simple phone that comes with basic features for $25 is a much better deal for some. Does this phone have limited features? Yes. Is it a phone that may have a very large market? Yes. Would you buy it? Maybe not, since we are used to smartphones and constant connectivity, but Microsoft is banking on people in other parts of the world, so North American opinion isn’t really relevant here.
If you do live in Africa or the Middle East, you can find the Nokia 130 relatively soon. Again, that price is just $25 (USD), which is comparable to others in its class. You won’t, however, be able to connect to the Internet with this phone.