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The nation's cheapest phone: £5 handset hits shelves at Asda

A slightly less digestible addition to the weekly shop is set to nestle between milk and bread in customers’ baskets, following the news that shoppers can now pick up the T-Mobile Alcatel 1010 from Asda stores on pay-as-you-go, with no minimum top-up required, for just £5.

If you spend your days gobbling up every droplet of the 2GB RAM your 5.9in phablet can sweat out, the 1010 may not be for you. The little 59g phone has a 1.45in screen, with only 3MB of working memory. It does, however, boast an inbuilt MP3 player and wireless FM radio. So at the very least it's a bargain way to listen to music on the move.

The idea behind the cheap-as-half-price-chips handset is that those needing a spare phone in case of theft or drained battery can easily pick up a solid alternative in store. It is also believed that the 1010 will prove popular with elderly shoppers wanting an affordable handset with a simple interface.

“With purse strings stretched ahead of the festive season and a quarter of mums budgeting more than ever, our customers are always looking for new ways to save money," said Claire McAuley, Mobile phone buyer at Asda.

"We’ve launched the UK’s lowest priced phone as a solution to keeping in touch at the lowest cost possible this Christmas and are expecting shoppers of all ages to snap them off the shelves.”

If you feel like joining the snapping masses, you can head on down to Asda to grab your Alcatel 101 from today.

If, on the other hand, you've been brought here by accident, cruelly redirected in your search for 4G-enabled smartphones sporting Snapdragon 800 processors, you can stop clawing for the back button and click here to read about the future of mobile handsets with news that Samsung have set a 2016 deadline for producing smartphones with foldable screens.

Screens that are, thankfully, a little bigger than 1.45in.

Image: Flickr (Dominic's pics)