Microsoft has unveiled the ultra-affordable, ultra-basic Nokia 130

Facebook is itching to connect the next billion people. So is Google. Microsoft has been itching to get in on the fun too, and while there’s no shortage of cheap Windows Phones to entice all those first-time smartphone shoppers around the world, the folks in Redmond still have their eyes on the most developing of developing markets. That’s why the company just pulled back the curtain on what may be the dumbest of dumbphones: the Nokia 130, a $25/€19 device that makes phone calls, fires off SMS messages and… that’s about it.

Microsoft has announced the Nokia 130, a new basic phone aimed at first time mobile buyers in emerging markets. Microsoft might have sounded the death knell for its Asha and S40 feature phone ranges, but it appears it’s not done yet with all of Nokia’s cheaper phones. Below these two categories lie even cheaper Nokia phones, which Series 30 — with the latest addition to the lineup coming in the form of the Nokia 130, a candybar priced at €19 ($25). Unlike the $54 Series 30-based Nokia 225 announced earlier this year, the Nokia 130 doesn’t connect to the internet, which means no Bing, Outlook, or other apps, but it does offer “essentials” such as a flashlight, FM radio, and USB charging. There’s also playback for video stored on microSD cards up to 32GB, and Bluetooth and USB for sharing content between devices. While the feature phone business has been in steady decline in Western markets, Microsoft notes the Nokia 130 falls into the sub-$35 which sell in volumes of around 300 million a year globally. “It is estimated that at least one billion people in the world still do not have a mobile phone, while at the same time there is increasing demand for reliable backup phones in both mature and high-growth markets,” Jo Harlow, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for phones, said.

By Lorie Wimble

Lorie is the "Liberal Voice" of Conservative Haven, a political blog, and has 2 astounding children. Find her on Google+ and Twitter.

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