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Nokia plans to use cheap phones to create Lumia fans

Nokia's mission is to conquer as many Windows Phone users as possible, in any country and at any cost. To this end, the company has launched two basic mobile phones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in order to lay the foundation for the creation of future owners of Lumia.

The idea is that even if a phone does not run the appropriate "applications" or does not belong to a large platform, it can still provide basic web connectivity. And this website must have Nokia and Microsoft software in the foreground.

"When people discover the web for the first time, they do a search on Bing, receive an Outlook email, use OneDrive," said Jussi Nevanlinna, vice president of product marketing for Nokia phones. "This is a service footprint and a cloud footprint, and if you can offer the cloud at these prices, it's a great competitive advantage."

What kind of price points? How about $ 40 (29 euros) without a contract? That's the price of the Nokia 220, which looks like a phone you could have in 2005, with one exception: it has a web browser and pre-installed icons for Facebook and Twitter.

The browser is very efficient and compresses the data by 80%, according to Nokia, and of course quotes Microsoft Bing as the default search engine. There are also Gameloft games.

Asha 230 is an increase in Nokia's range of smartphones or low-end phones (depending on who you ask). This model further distances the barrier to entry up to $ 60 ($ 45) without subsidies.

"What we do with Asha is make it more affordable," says Nevanlinna. "It works with the same applications as the Asha 500 series. It does very well on most smartphones."

As expected, the Asha 230 offers numerous links to Microsoft and Nokia services: Bing search, Outlook messaging, Here Maps and OneDrive. The home screen also contains Asha "Fastlane", a record of all your most recent activities on the device.

The devices will go on sale in several world markets at the beginning of March. And if all goes well for Nokia, satisfied customers will have to switch to Lumia smartphones by 2015.

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