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Microsoft unveils budget Lumia 530

Redmond releases first Lumia phone to retail for under €100

Microsoft unveils budget Lumia 530
The 530 will feature a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, a four-inch LCD display and a 5-megapixel rear camera

Microsoft yesterday took the wraps off its cheapest-ever smartphone, the Lumia 530, which will be made available in August for an estimated €85 before taxes and subsidies.

This is the first Lumia phone to be released that will retail for under €100. However, it is still unclear how low the price will stay once the device reaches the Middle Eastern market.

What is clear is that the device will be available in either single-SIM 3G or dual-SIM 3G variants. It will run on the latest version of Windows Phone 8.1, including one-swipe notifications from Action Center and the fast Word Flow keyboard, Microsoft said. Integration with services such as Skype and Microsoft Office will be available straight out of the box, the vendor added.

In terms of hardware, the 530 will feature a 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, a four-inch LCD display and a 5-megapixel rear camera. Along with 512 MB of RAM, the device will come with 4 GB of on-board memory, expandable with SD cards up to 128 GB, and 15 GB of free cloud storage on Microsoft OneDrive.

Jo Harlow, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Devices Group, said that the 530 was a result of Microsoft trying to bring the Lumia experience to more people.

"We are moving quickly to help more people experience the uncompromised Lumia technologies, third-party apps and Microsoft services that we deliver on our flagship products," he said.

"Lumia 530 underscores our commitment to making affordable smartphones for everyone, and introducing more people to the best of Microsoft."

While Microsoft recorded a 7% drop in quarterly profit this week - largely due to its acquisition of Nokia's handsets division - the vendor pledged to make a profit out of the devices group within two years. However, with Microsoft's mobile OS, Windows Phone, commanding just 4% of the market, the company faces an uphill struggle with its mobile devices strategy.

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