Microsoft has announced an affordable feature phone, the Nokia 130. Priced at €19 (approximately Rs 1,500), the phone offers basic features with up to 16 hours of video playback or up to 46 hours of music playback on a single charge. The Nokia 130 will come in both single and dual-SIM variants.
The Nokia 130 has a 1.8-inch colour display with QQVGA (128×160 pixels) resolution. The dual-band phone runs on Series 30 operating system and supports a microSD card slot. The phone will be available in red, black and white colors and has a built-in video player, MP3, FM Radio and flashlight on the back.
We had reported earlier on Microsoft’s plans to phase out Nokia’s feature phones and Nokia Android X smartphones. Microsoft had then said that it will focus exclusively on Windows Phone platform for smartphones. The announcement of the Nokia 130, seems like Microsoft is just getting out products that were already in the pipeline. We would be surprised if Microsoft continues development of new feature phones as it tries to wrap up the business.
Having said that, in an interview with Re/code, Microsoft’s VP of phone business, Jo Harlow, said that the company remains committed to the basic phone segment, which provides it with the reach no other project can provide. However, it is baffling how Microsoft thinks it can get first-time users to make Microsoft accounts on a phone that doesn’t even connect to the Internet.
We have heard the same arguments with the Nokia X and Asha range of products, only to see them getting scrapped by Microsoft. This too shall pass. What Microsoft should be working on right now is to ensure smartphones running on Windows Phone reach the sub-$100 price points, something Google is doing with its Android One series of smartphones.
The Nokia 130 would do good to attract first-time cellphone users, but that is something that made sense for Nokia but we are not convinced Microsoft should be in this business.