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Super cheap Nokia phones on the way

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Nokia today unveiled what could be its cheapest handsets yet.

The Nokia 2600 classic comes in a range of colours with fully changeable Xpress-on covers so you can jazz it up to your own taste. You can also choose from a selection of MP3 ringtones and use the various entertainment features, including an FM radio and a VGA camera.

Nokia also revealed that mobile phone-sharing in emerging markets is on the up. Its Nokia Sharing Survey showed that more than half of respondents in India and Pakistan, and nearly 30 per cent in Vietnam, share, or would share, their mobile phone with family or friends.

The findings contrast with behaviour in more mature markets such as the UK, the rest of Europe, Japan and Singapore, where mobile phones play an increasingly important role in our lives - from keeping in touch and planning our lives to tuning into music and browsing the web.

Phone-sharing explained

"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, vice president of entry devices at Nokia.

"In response, Nokia has developed a number of innovative features like the multiple phonebook to support phone-sharing, and we have added technologies like Bluetooth to some models to make transferring images and ringtones easy and affordable."

Nokia 1209

Echoing this, the second model introduced today, the Nokia 1209, offers clever cost management features to make phone-sharing easy and convenient. Features include a pre-paid tracker, a cost-tracking application and a multiple phonebook which allows up to five people to store personal contact lists of up to 200 numbers on a single phone.

The Nokia 1209 incorporates the standard Nokia user interface, dust resistance and offers up to 80 languages. There's also a one-piece key mat for durability and reliability.

Aimed at consumers in the new emerging markets, the Nokia 2600 classic and the Nokia 1209 are shipping now and will be available this quarter. Before tax and subsidies, the handsets are priced at €65 (£48) and €35 (£26) respectively. If they appear in the UK, they'll be free with a new contract.