Nokia 100 phones: £5


How is it any more sad than the conflict minerals that went into your favorite gadgets?


This was something I was quite pleased to see with the Google/Intel Chromebook announcement - conflict free processors.

The problem is that we NIMBY so many things to conflict areas rather than mining in a place where environmental controls and effects on liberty can be enforced, at least a little; looking at you US and UK. Like rare earth metals for motors there is really no good replacement for tantalum caps. I just replaced the dried out electrolytic capacitors in an ultra portable Sony IC-1 shortwave set from the 1990s with Ta caps, I can probably expect 50 or more years out of the radio after the upgrade. I just wonder if there will be any analog shortwave transmissions by then. I did tap the IF for a DRM but have not built a converter yet since there is so little available content.
Back on topic this Nokia 100 is an amazing backup with a prepaid sim when cycle touring. The 25 day standby time is an amazing companion to a smartphone, at that low consumption level occasional dynamo charging really makes sense.

I can’t believe anybody can manufacture that phone for that price, not even with North Korean slave labor.

Wild guess, but how much call is there for mobile phones in pink plastic? Maybe they have a warehouse full of these somewhere, accumulating dust, taxes, and storage fees, and it’s cheaper to take the loss than to hang on to them.

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Or maybe it’s a locked, subsidized phone? No-contract doesn’t mean it isn’t subsidized.

Usually you have to buy a big chunk of air time with the phone to get it at that price.

Democratizing technology - it’s not just for design students on Kickstarter.

Perhaps, but if it’s locked to O2 it may still make sense for them to sell the phone with no airtime requirements. In the US you can buy a Nokia Lumia 520 for $60 without contract (but locked to AT&T), or the Motorola Moto G for $90 no contract (but locked to Verizon). Both phones cost over double that when unsubsidized. Maybe it makes more sense to subsidize smart phones with the expectation of lucrative data fees, or maybe it makes more sense to subsidize feature phones whose only purpose is to consume airtime and cannot be used as cheap iPod touches.

Or the demand for smartphones is so high that dumb candybars are worthless.

I bought two of them older family members a couple of months ago for 20€ per piece. It’s call, sends messages and has excellent battery life, what more could you want.

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Numerous assumptions are being made here. The main point is: How do we know these phones are not being sold at a loss? Carphone Warehouse could be selling them cheap, knowing that more likely than not, the buyers will purchase a mobile contract at the same store, which they can profit on. Or they should be selling on the expectation that the buyer would eventually be dissatisfied with the phone and go back to them to buy a more expensive one. Or they could be clearing out stock.

I’m certainly not denying that conflict minerals are a problem. It just seems weird that Cory is concerned about the tantalum in this particular phone. I don’t see how a simple, affordable dumbphone is more of “a sad end” than whatever high-end PC Cory typed the article on.

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cant get them in the US.

I went to buy a cheap phone for my daughter yesterday, and all of these deals are predicated on you buying airtime with the phone (usually about £20). I bought a used phone instead.

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