The launch comes as a surprise because Microsoft had announced that it would sell its feature phone business to FIH Mobile Ltd
Microsoft launched a new Nokia feature phone called the Nokia 216 yesterday (September 20).
The launch comes as a surprise because Microsoft had earlier this year announced its decision to sell the company’s entry-level feature phone business to a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group, FIH Mobile Ltd, for $350 million. The transaction, however, has not yet happened due to "regulatory approvals" and other "closing conditions".
The Nokia 216 will be available in India next month for around $37, reports The Verge.
It includes a 2.4-inch QVGA display, with 0.3-megapixel cameras at the front and rear, running on Series 30 OS with the Opera mini browser. It even has a headphone jack.
According to The Verge, Microsoft wants to keep selling feature phones for as long as possible because millions are still being sold every month.
Meanwhile, the MIcrosoft-FIH Mobile is "expected to to close in the second half of 2016, subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions", a Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNet. "Until the closing of the transaction, Microsoft continues to run the feature phone business.”
Earlier this year, Microsoft also hinted that it may discontinue its Windows-powered Lumia smartphones by the end of this year.