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Lumia435
Lumia 435 Microsoft

Microsoft's New Windows Phones Cost Under $100

Jan 15, 2015

Microsoft's new Lumia smartphones are the cheapest Windows Phones the company's ever made, it announced Wednesday. The Lumia 435 and 532 are part of Microsoft's continuing effort to claw back market share by targeting fast-growing markets abroad.

The 435 and 532 will go on sale in Asia, the Middle East and Europe for $80 (69 Euros) and $91 (79 Euros) respectively.

"We’ve realized our goal of creating the most affordable Lumia devices to date, opening up the opportunity to reach those people who are buying a smartphone for the very first time," corporate vice president for Microsoft's phones unit Jo Harlow said in a statement.

The bargain-basement Lumias will join a growing portfolio of Microsoft phones for shoppers on a shoestring budget, particularly in the developing world. Earlier this month, the company unveiled a $29 "Internet-ready" phone, not quite smart enough to be called a smartphone, but cheap enough to attract first-time buyers. Now those same buyers can upgrade to a Lumia smartphone for an extra $50, giving them an incentive to stick with the Windows brand.

And if there's anything Microsoft's mobile unit is hurting for right now, it's loyal smartphone customers. Global market share for Windows-enabled smartphones has flatlined around 3%, according to sales data collected by market research firm IDC:

IDC: Smartphone OS Market Share 2013, 2012, and 2011 Chart

If Microsoft wants to attract a virtuous cycle of users and app developers to its Windows mobile platform, clearly it could use a defibrillator. It appears that Microsoft is now looking abroad to find that jump-start, where obscure competitors can come roaring out of nowhere and unseat the established players. China's Xiaomi, for example, went from relative obscurity to the top mobile phone seller in the Chinese market last year, clocking in at 240% sales growth, according to the tech research firm Canalys. So don't rule out a miraculous revival of Windows phones just yet.

PHOTOS: The Rise of Mobile Phones from 1916 to Today

A German field telephone station in the Aisne department of northern France during World War I.
1916 A German field telephone station in the Aisne department of northern France during World War I.Paul Thompson—FPG/Getty Images
A German field telephone station in the Aisne department of northern France during World War I.
French singer and actor Johnny Hallyday in a scene from the film 'Point de Chute' (aka 'Falling Point').
An early mobile phone during the Iranian Embassy siege at Princes Gate in South Kensington, London.
Bob Maxwell, general manager of Englewood-based Mobile Telephone of Colorado, places a call on FCC-approved radio frequency while driving to work.
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Bill Clinton,  Ray Flynn
Whoopi Goldberg during ShoWest in Las Vegas.
A farmer with his family sitting on a Bullock Cart and talking on a mobile Phone, in Delhi.
World Trade Center Terrorist Attack.
A rebel militiaman speaks on his mobile phone after capturing territory from government troops on March 25 2 in Ben Jawat, Libya.
A youth films the aftermath of tear gas police fired at protestors in Muhammed Mahmoud Street near Tahrir Square on November 23 in Cairo.
Audience members take pictures of President Barack Obama at Florida Atlantic University on April 10 in Boca Raton, Florida.
A teenager takes a selfie in front of Queen Elizabeth II during a walk around St. Georges Market in Belfast.
1916 A German field telephone station in the Aisne department of northern France during World War I.
Paul Thompson—FPG/Getty Images
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