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.

Fool contributor John Divine owns no shares in any of the above companies. You can follow him on Twitter @divinebizkid and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFDivine.

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