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Microsoft buys Nokia Handset Division – wait, is that a real headine? Nokia still makes phones? Yes. Did I just blow your mind? Well, hopefully you don’t get that excited about tech industry news but, if you do, you probably already know that in April this year, Microsoft bought Nokia’s mobile phone division for $7.2 billion. Now they’re finally coming out with a new phone that may surprise you – not for its incredible new features but rather its distinct lack thereof.

Nokia Handset

The new Nokia 130 can make and receive phone calls, send and receive SMS messages, and comes with a built-in LED flashlight but no camera, no internet connectivity, no Siri®, no Google Maps™, nor Candy Crush Saga™. But it’s a Nokia and it’s $25. If you’re wondering why Microsoft and Nokia would bother with a barebones cell phone at a time when incredible smartphones get cheaper every month, VP for Phones at Microsoft – Jo Harlow – has the answer for you:

“…Microsoft remains committed to delivering market-leading mobile innovation at each and every price point. With handsets like the Nokia 130, we see tremendous potential to deliver the experience of a ‘mobile-first’ world to people seeking their first device…”

The ultimate goal, she goes on to explain, is to get the world’s poorest 1 billion in touch and to familiarize them with Microsoft. Presumably the company’s hope is that buyers of the Nokia 130 will eventually get a higher-end, internet-connected device and that they’ll naturally use Microsoft’s Outlook.com, OneDrive, and Bing, as well as other Microsoft products.

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The new phone is expected to ship in the third quarter of 2014 to a few target countries: Egypt, Nigeria, India, Kenya, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, China, and Vietnam. With the brand fading fast from memory in developed markets, this bold new strategy may be the best way for Nokia to recapture some of its former glory.

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  1. This was really interesting to read. With a different approach to same-every-day-tech-blogs, it is nice to see such a fresh piece.

    Look forward to the next one.