Nokia shows off 'affordable' phones

The Nokia 101 and the Nokia 100 will be available for $35 and $30. The feature phones are designed for the "next billion people" in emerging markets.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
The Nokia 101 costs $35.
The Nokia 101 costs just $35. Nokia

Nokia is offering up two new mobile phones designed for people in emerging markets.

The Nokia 101 is the more powerful option among the devices, offering dual-SIM functionality. With that, users can decide which SIM card to access when placing a call or sending a text message. According to Nokia, the device also allows users to store up to five SIM card settings for access later on.

Aside from that, the Nokia 101 comes with very basic features, including FM radio, MP3 player support, and a loudspeaker. The device itself comes in a red or black design and offers a 1.8-inch color screen.

The Nokia 100 also offers a 1.8-inch color display and features a similar design to the 101. However, customers will be able to choose between two shades of blue, pink, black, or red when opting for their desired handset color. Aside from that, there isn't much to brag about in the Nokia 100. The device comes with an FM radio and a built-in alarm clock, but it lacks the dual-SIM support and loudspeaker found in the 101.

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Although the 101 and 100 won't impress iPhone owners with their functionality, Nokia was quick to point out that they're not meant to do so. In a statement today, Nokia's executive vice president for mobile phones, Mary McDowell, said that the feature phones are designed for "the next billion people" in emerging markets that can't afford to invest in the latest and greatest smartphone available today.

In order to help give those folks a bit more locally relevant information, Nokia has added its Life Tools service to the devices, giving users access to "information on health care, education, agriculture, and entertainment."

Nokia's latest announcements come as the company prepares to transition its operation to Windows Phone 7. Earlier this year, Nokia and Microsoft announced that Windows Phone 7 would become the "principal" operating system on the handset maker's devices. The first Nokia smartphones running Windows Phone 7 are expected to launch by the end of this year.

Nokia 101 and Nokia 100 buyers will be able to get their hands on the devices in the third quarter. The Nokia 101 will retail for $35, while the Nokia 100 will cost $30.