Nokia 105: Bare-bones Phone Might Give Nokia an Edge

With lower-than-expected first quarter sales reports, Nokia just could not keep up with Apple and Samsung in the high-end smartphone market. So what a struggling Finnish phone company should do? Launch a $20 handset: the Nokia 105!

The Nokia 105 is priced 97 percent below the latest iPhone and it comes with preloaded games, a colored screen, FM radio, a speaking clock, and a flashlight. The candybar-shaped Nokia 105 has a battery life that lasts for up to 35 days on standby. It is resistant to water and dust and comes equipped with text-messaging-based tools such as teaching English to users or provide healthcare advice.

The Nokia 105 is actually the cheapest Nokia phone ever, which will be rolling out in India and Indonesia in a few weeks, with Europe to follow suit.

The launch comes after Nokia reported that it sold about 11 million fewer mobile phones in the first quarter of 2013 than projected. Sales of Nokia’s basic phones, the company’s bread and butter in developing markets, dropped 21 percent to 55.8 million units as the likes of ZTE, Huawei, and even Samsung receive considerable share gains. The Nokia 105 could not have come at a better time, as the company hopes this new entry-level phone would revive its low-end business, which in turn fuel Nokia’s resources in developing its latest so-called iPhone and Android killers.

While smartphones have become the fastest-growing part of the mobile market, basic cell phones remain the dominating force at more than half of total units sold. That still translates to hundreds of millions of entry-level phones sold each quarter. And of over 336 million handsets Nokia sold in 2012, only about 10 percent were smartphones.

Source: Nokia, via Bloomberg

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