x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Will the Nokia 130 be the most popular phone in the UAE ever?

Priced at a mere $25, it even plays music and videos.

The Nokia 130 handset. Courtesy Nokia
The Nokia 130 handset. Courtesy Nokia

Let’s be honest, with the exception of the most extreme technophobes we would all like to own an all-singing, all-dancing smartphone such as an iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy S5.

But here in the UAE there are hundreds of thousands of blue-collar workers who simply cannot afford the Dh2,000 or more that it costs to have a top-spec gadget, plus there are some who would prefer not to spend that much anyway.

And that is why we see the bottom-end Nokia handsets at the top of the rankings when we chart the most popular devices in the UAE according to statistics provided by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

They may not look pretty, but they do what they set out to do - keep expatriates in touch with family and friends back home via phone calls and text messages - and also provide a cheap back-up phone for smartphone owners.

While Microsoft recently announced it is to can several Nokia devices, including the Asha and X range, it also unveiled what could be the most appealing budget mobile phone ever made.

The Nokia 130 is priced at just US$25 (Dh92) and features an MP3 player, FM radio, flashlight, supports 13 hours of talk time, 46 hours of audio playback and 16 hours of movie watching which can be done via an SD card.

It comes in several colour options and will be available in single and dual-sim versions.

There is no internet connection, but what do you expect for $25?

The device is slated for initial release in China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam. Surely a release in the UAE would be a phenomenal success?


Follow The National’s Business section on Twitter