Nokia puts Facebook, Twitter on $US42 phone

The 109 is no touchscreen phone, but users get Internet browsing, instant mesaging and social networking

Nokia is hoping to connect more users around the world to the Internet with the 109, a GSM phone with integrated Twitter and Facebook clients.

Smartphones are growing in popularity, but 264.8 million feature phones were still shipped during the third quarter, according to IDC.

So Nokia is convinced there is still a market for a phone like the 109. The phone will cost about $US42 before taxes or operator subsidies when it ships soon in China, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, Nokia said.

The phone allows users to access Facebook and Twitter from the home screen. There is also an eBuddy instant messaging client available for download. The Nokia Xpress Browser lets users surf the Internet using fewer megabytes thanks to the integrated support for cloud-based data compression.

Users can also download up to 10 free games from EA from the Nokia Store. Besides EA, Nokia has been working with the likes of Gameloft, Rovio and Zynga to distinguish its feature phones from the competition.

The phone includes a media player, as well as an FM radio, with radio recording in some markets as well, according Nokia. Recordings and other content can be stored on an SD card.

The 1.8-inch screen helps prolong the battery life, which is up to 33 days on standby or 7.5 hours talk-time.

Nokia's struggles in the smartphone market are well documented. But the company has been doing better in the feature phone market, thanks in part to new touchscreen phones in the Asha family.

Excluding smartphones, unit sales increased by 4 percent when comparing the second and third quarter this year, Nokia reported last month.

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