The company today launched the Nokia 216 in India. The feature phone sports dual-SIM card capability, offers up to 19 days of standby time on a single charge, and is priced at Rs 2,495 ($37). It will go on sale in the country from Oct. 24, a week before the Diwali festival.
For $37, you get a phone with a 2.4-inch QVGA (240 x 320) display, and a microSD card slot wrapped in a polycarbonate shell. The 1,020 mAh battery can also keep the phone ticking for 18 hours of continuous talktime. There are two VGA cameras in there as well. Yes, VGA.
The most interesting thing about the phone is its existence. The announcement today comes as a surprise, especially since Microsoft announced earlier this year that it was selling its feature phone business to Foxconn’s subsidiary, FIH Mobile for $350 million.
The company has also let go nearly 10,000 people from its hardware division. Last year, the company cut nearly 8,000 jobs, impacting mostly the workforce at the phone division. Soon after announcing the sale of Nokia’s feature phone business, Microsoft said it would further cut 2,000 jobs in the phone division.
Amid these announcements, people weren’t expecting a new feature phone from the company. But since Microsoft’s deal with FIH Mobile hasn’t closed yet, the company continues to run its feature phone business, and release new feature phones.
Feature phones are still very popular in emerging markets, and it makes sense for Microsoft to stay in the game. For instance, compared to 250 million install base of smartphones in India, there are 450 million feature phones in use, according to market research firm Counterpoint Research.
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