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Nokia Launches Two Phones Under $100

Both phones are intended for consumers in emerging markets who want key features at an affordable price.

Nokia, the world's No. 1 phone marker, on Tuesday introduced two new mobile phones for emerging markets, the 2600 classic and the 1209 -- both priced at less than $100.

The Nokia 2600 classic can be customized with colorful Xpress-on covers and MP3 ring tones.
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Nokia already started shipping the 2600 classic, which will cost 65 euros (about $95), and it will become available during the first quarter of this year. The 2600 classic is intended for consumers in emerging markets that want all the key features found in modern phones but at an affordable price, according to Nokia.

The 2600 classic comes with colorful and changeable Xpress-on covers, as well as MP3 ring tones, an FM radio, and a built-in digital camera with a Video Graphics Array display.

The second model unveiled by Nokia, the 1209, will cost 35 euros (about $50) and will become available globally in the second quarter of this year. It's also designed specifically for emerging markets with features such as a cost-tracking application called pre-paid tracker and a phone book for multiple users that allows up to five people to store their personal contacts in the phone, which can hold up to 200 numbers.

In a recent survey conducted by Nokia in India, China, Brazil, Pakistan, Vietnam, Russia, and Egypt, the phone maker found that there's a trend emerging in which consumers in emerging markets tend to share phones. Over 50% of consumers surveyed in India and Pakistan, and almost 30% in Vietnam said they share or would share their mobile phone with others.

"Phone sharing is a logical trend -- more and more families are purchasing a mobile phone for the entire family to use, not just the head of the household. In addition, digital cameras are quickly becoming more popular in these markets, and as such taking and sharing digital images is becoming more common," said Alex Lambeek, VP of entry devices at Nokia, in a statement.

The 1209 is meant for first-time phone buyers, Nokia said. Additional features include dust resistance, a durable exterior, and support for up to 80 languages.

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