Nokia 103 snatches 'world's cheapest mobile phone' crown

Nokia 103 snatches 'world's cheapest mobile phone' crownWe heard yesterday about a quartet of new Asha Series 40 handsets being brewed up in Nokia's mobile cauldron over in Espoo, now here's another new face to introduce: the Nokia 103.

Unlike the other four this one has actually been made official too, with Nokia announcing that the Next Billion-targeting blower is its “most affordable mobile phone for first time buyers”.

That title was previously held by the Nokia 100 introduced last year, but the 103 is lining up to deliver some decidedly uncomplicated mobile jollies for just €16, a full 25% cheaper.

As you can imagine, the spec sheet [PDF] is pretty modest compared to the high-tech smartphones we normally cover. The screen is a 1.36in black and white number running at 96 x 68 pixels – which means all of 4,608 pixels in total.

Given the target market, however, that's less important than the dust-proof chassis, integrated flashlight and 11-hour talktime/27 day standby time from the 800mAh battery.

Instead of Series 40 there's the ultra-basic Series 30 interface, so all those new bits and pieces Nokia has been adding to its main feature phone OS don't apply here.

And that's about it. Nokia says the 103 will debut in Nigeria, with other developing markets to follow in the weeks to come.

Is it likely to change our lives? Not at all – in fact, this is probably the first and last time we'll write about the Nokia 103. But in the greater scheme of things, connecting people to the world around them for the very first time is more important than whether the latest smartphone flavour of the month can record movies in full HD, or just 720p. So it's only fair that we at least give it a mention.

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15 comments

jmarcelino  Apr. 11, 2012 at 10:26

Why not buy a better second hand phone? That's how I got my first phone (Ericsson GA 628 if you're curious) as I couldn't afford a new one back then.


Isn't Nigeria a prime destination for all those recycled phones? €16 should be more than enough for a second hand k800i which has a decent camera.

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 11, 2012 at 10:44

If you buy a used K800i or something similar, chances are the battery needs to be replaced pronto... and there go the savings. Also: many many people just want a phone.

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 11, 2012 at 12:25

Car phone Warehouse sell phones from £2.95 in the UK...how the hell is 16 euros the cheapest phone in the world?

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 11, 2012 at 12:31

questions questions questions... will we ever find out?

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 11, 2012 at 12:35

Probably not...I love Nokia and their bullsh*t though.

jmarcelino  Apr. 11, 2012 at 12:58

many many people just want a phone.

True, but many many many people want a phone with a camera :D especially when they can't afford two separate things.

Also, can we ban new GSM phones already? Minimum standard should be 3G so we can start to shift the frequencies. Nigeria even has LTE already, it's not like they're stuck with old stuff.

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 11, 2012 at 13:00

Probably not...I love Nokia and their bullsh*t though.

Praise be to Elop, you heathen

Pondlife  Apr. 11, 2012 at 13:15

Also, can we ban new GSM phones already? Minimum standard should be 3G so we can start to shift the frequencies. Nigeria even has LTE already, it's not like they're stuck with old stuff.

be good if we could as we'd get some bandwidth back.

---------

The £2.95 at carphone is an upgrade price, even the payg price of £4.95 is going to be network lowered pricing though.

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 11, 2012 at 13:28

Bet I can find a SIM free phone for under 16 euros :p.

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 11, 2012 at 13:31

many many people just want a phone.

True, but many many many people want a phone with a camera :D especially when they can't afford two separate things.

Also, can we ban new GSM phones already? Minimum standard should be 3G so we can start to shift the frequencies. Nigeria even has LTE already, it's not like they're stuck with old stuff.

I'd rather have 3G and live in safety that have LTE and live in fear of my life...in all honesty.

Life expectancy in Nigeria is 50.9, I'll take my extra 20+ years in the UK (even without 4G) thanks :p.

Pondlife  Apr. 11, 2012 at 14:13

That was quite an odd diversion

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 11, 2012 at 14:22

That was quite an odd diversion
Welcome to the world of Mobot ;).

infiniti  Apr. 12, 2012 at 01:16

go to tesco, i got a sim free samsung 1080 for £9.97 yesterday ,xlnt as a backup and unless the exchange rates changes dramatically thats cheaper than 16

martinjjames / MOD  Apr. 12, 2012 at 09:33

It's always dangerous generalising about those poor tech-starved masses in their undeveloped nations, but if you're talking about areas and people getting their first exposure to mobile phones, strong and durable construction and battery life are a higher priority than a camera. We're talking about communities that have never seen never mind used a PC or the internet, so a camera has little practical value. (Once again, I'm aware that is a generalisation and doesn't apply across the board, but it's certainly valid for the "typical" user Nokia's going after with its Next Billion thing)

As for the price debate, yes you can get a Samsung 1080 for less, but it's more than 2 years old, and didn't launch at £9.97. The 103 is the cheapest in terms of launch RRP.

Like many African countries, Nigeria's life expectancy figures have been dramatically affected by HIV/Aids. Life expectancy in South Africa, for instance, is now also under 50 when it used to be far higher.

One last thing - wonder if Nokia's ever thought of releasing a Nokia 411 in Nigeria? :)

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 12, 2012 at 09:39

It's always dangerous generalising about those poor tech-starved masses in their undeveloped nations, but if you're talking about areas and people getting their first exposure to mobile phones, strong and durable construction and battery life are a higher priority than a camera. We're talking about communities that have never seen never mind used a PC or the internet, so a camera has little practical value. (Once again, I'm aware that is a generalisation and doesn't apply across the board, but it's certainly valid for the "typical" user Nokia's going after with its Next Billion thing)

As for the price debate, yes you can get a Samsung 1080 for less, but it's more than 2 years old, and didn't launch at £9.97. The 103 is the cheapest in terms of launch RRP.

Like many African countries, Nigeria's life expectancy figures have been dramatically affected by HIV/Aids. Life expectancy in South Africa, for instance, is now also under 50 when it used to be far higher.

One last thing - wonder if Nokia's ever thought of releasing a Nokia 411 in Nigeria? :)


spot-on!

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