We all know Microsoft's phone business has been floundering and it has all but written off its US$7.1 billion acquisition of Nokia. In May, the company announced it was selling its feature phone business to a subsidiary of Chinese electronics manufacturer Foxconn but Microsoft has not given up on making Nokia handsets just yet. It has just launched the Nokia 216, a feature phone that will appeal to developing markets. Here are the details.
After slashing jobs in its mobile division and a move to sell off its feature phones division to Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile for US$350 million (the transaction has yet to be completed), Microsoft has shown that it still sees some value in the Nokia brand. It has released the new Nokia 216 and the Nokia 216 Dual Sim. They're the most basic phones that you can get through Microsoft and are reminiscent of a time when Nokia reigned supreme with its range of simple mobile devices.
The Nokia 216 and its dual sim counterpart are to be released in India in October for 2,495 Rupee; that's just under AUD$50. They'll only be available in selected countries and are unlikely to hit Australian shores given our strong appetite for smartphones.
Again, the Nokia 216 range are just phones with the most basic features. They sport a 2.4-inch QVGA display and 0.3-megapixel cameras for the front and back, but at least it has a 3.5mm headphone jack (I''m looking at you, Apple). Look, they're not fancy phones (they run on GPRS networks for crying out loud) but check out the battery life!
- Maximum standby time: Up to 24 days
- Maximum talk time (2G): Up to 18 hours
- Maximum music playback time: Up to 47 hours
This phone is giving me some serious nostalgia. I miss my old Nokia.
Microsoft hasn't entirely given up on the smartphone market. It continues to develop Windows 10 Mobile and is still supporting Lumia phones such as the Lumia 650, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL along with devices from device partners. There is still a persistent rumour that the company will be launching a Surface-branded handset next year.