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Nokia quietly kills its Series 30: what does this mean?

Posted: , posted by Victor H.

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Nokia quietly kills its Series 30: what does this mean?
Did you know that the most affordable Nokia phones run on Series 30? To be perfectly accurate, we should say - ran. Yes, Series 30 has quietly died after today’s announcement of the new Nokia 110 and 112 low-end phones. Both of them surprised us by featuring the more advanced Series 40 platform, and since there’s practically no way for Nokia to go lower on the price, this means that today is a good day to officially announce the passing of Series 30.

But, mind you, what on earth is this Series 30 platform we’re speaking about? Well, simply put, it’s an application UI that’s one tier lower than Series 40, and both platforms technically count as feature phones. Let us illustrate with examples - phones such as the Nokia X1-00 run on Series 30, and as a rule of thumb there is no web browser, nor Bluetooth support on the low-end platform. Back in time, there was even Series 20, which is even more basic, but what we need to know now is that understandably, S40 is much more advanced than S30. It’s hard to generalize and say exactly how much, though, as even Series 40 phones vary in features.

The Nokia 101 and X1-00 are probably the last Nokia low-end phones with no Internet connectivity.
The Nokia 101 and X1-00 are probably the last Nokia low-end phones with no Internet connectivity.

The Nokia 101 and X1-00 are probably the last Nokia low-end phones with no Internet connectivity.

With that in mind, we should say that the death of S30 is actually a great event millions should celebrate. Why? It’s simple - finally even the most affordable handsets will now have access to the Internet. Yes, the new Nokia 110 and 112 come with the Nokia Browser and a small 1.8-inch screen, and, yes, that translates in a rather limited Internet experience, but still it’s a gigantic leap forward for people who previously haven’t had any access to the world wide web. 

And this is huge for a number of reasons that deserve a dedicated article. We’d only like to mention the latest statistics that show that a staggering nearly half of Internet users in developing African and Asian countries use only their phone to go online.

The new Nokia 110 and 112 run on Series 40, an evolutionary step forward.

The new Nokia 110 and 112 run on Series 40, an evolutionary step forward.

Interestingly, the announcement of the Nokia 110 and 112 comes at a turbulent time for Nokia. We saw the company tumble spectacularly in the first quarter, giving away its position as the world’s biggest phone maker to Samsung. It needs to sell more phones, all kinds of phones, and while the Lumia series is not selling particularly well, and Symbian has collapsed, it needs to rely more and more on feature phones. On the other hand there is Android and phones like the Samsung Galaxy Pocket that are edging towards a retail price of around $130 (100 euro), a threshold that’s dangerously close to feature phones. This price war has obviously forced Nokia to reply with a competitive product in the low-end segment, and kill Series 30.

The real question that lingers on, though, is totally different. Clearly, the gap open for feature phones is closing quickly, and what we’re curious to see is just how quickly. It’s clear that the Finns will have little leeway even with Series 40, but if the Windows Phone platform doesn’t move fast enough towards the low end, there might soon be a time when Nokia loses its appeal in the low-end to Android. After all, it’s played the dual-SIM card to carriers’ irritation, and it’s on the verge of extinguishing its options in the low-end. For now, though, and for the new dirt cheap S40 handsets we can only say: the king is dead, long live the king.

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