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NAIROBI, Kenya – Yesterday saw the launch of some powerful new smartphones. But in many parts of the world, phones like those remain science fiction. In large parts of Africa and Asia, in particular, many face the reality of expensive data rates, the uncertainty of being able to connect to a reliable power source and low incomes. For the ‘next billion’ mobile users, a reliable, inexpensive, regular phone is a lot more relevant. That’s the reason we’re launching the Nokia 101 and Nokia 100 today.

The Nokia 101 and 100 are low-cost phones based on the Series 30 operating system. The difference between the two is that the Nokia 101 supports dual-SIM and has an MP3 player. Designed with the fact in mind that these phones are often shared between families, they can support up to five separate address books and store personalisation details for up to five different SIM cards.

The display has a grid-based system of icons – we also need the phones to be usable by people who haven’t had the opportunity to learn to read. There’s an integrated flashlight – a handy addition for most of us, but extremely valuable if you live somewhere where’s there’s only power for a few hours a day. For the same reason, the battery life is extremely good compared to what you might have learned to expect from using a smartphone. These phones can last up to 25 days on standby, or 6.7 hours talktime.

But that doesn’t mean they aren’t versatile or useful. They come with an FM radio and – on the Nokia 101 – an MP3 player with a headset included in the box. There’s also support for memory cards up to 16GB on the Nokia 101, allowing thousands of songs to be stored. In addition, there are preloaded games and a 3.5mm AV connector so owners can connect the device to better speakers, for example.

In selected markets, these phones will also be offered with Nokia Life Tools, allowing the delivery of market information, weather forecasts, health advice, language tuition and entertainment news to an on-board app using specially created SMS messages.

The Nokia 101 and 100 go on sale from this quarter (Nokia 101) and next (Nokia 100) in selected markets. Without local taxes or operator subsidies they’ll cost around €25 for the Nokia 101 and about €20 for the Nokia 100.

Nokia 100 – Affordable Colour Display Mobile Phone

Dual-SIM Nokia 101 – Entertainment with FM Radio and MP3 Music Player