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Nokia’s $39 Phone Rebound Wins Time for Smartphone Struggle

Nokia Oyj, burning cash as it struggles to revive its smartphone business, is winning time for the recovery effort by gaining more customers for another product: basic mobile phones it sells for $39.

By adding features such as quicker Web and online games to its Asha handsets popular in faster-growing economies including India and China, Nokia boosted its share of the basic-phone market to 35 percent last quarter -- the highest in two years. Unlike the smartphone division, the basic-phone business is profitable and unit sales are increasing.