The Nokia 1100 is an ugly, unpleasant phone to use. According to this article on Gizmodo, "it's too narrow for two-thumbed texting; it's thin enough that curling a thumb for one-handed use is strenuous. Tiny pedestal buttons are concealed behind a squishy rubber shield, and configured in such a way that learning how to use the phone is a process of rote memorization and habit-building rather than intuition".
Here's the kicker: it's also used by a quarter billion people. For many in the developing world, this is their very first cellphone, and in emerging markets hardware demands are very different from what you or I are used to.
Most importantly, where the Nokia 1100 may lack in looks or modern-day graphical usability, it delivers in another aspect: its ability to survive and to do so as cheaply as possible. And it does this very well.
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