Cell-phone manufacturer Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) showed off two new low-cost phone models to the public today, the Nokia Asha 308 and the Nokia Asha 309. The phones will retail for about $99, the company said, and shipping is expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2012. Nokia does have a smartphone model on the way, to be run by Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 operating system, but the Asha series helps it compete in a different market.
The lower-end cell phones are a high-margin business for Nokia, and an important part of the company. Analysts have said that releasing a low-cost mobile phone is essential to Nokia's future, and that doing so enables it to compete with other cheap phones running on Google's Android software.