After numerous twists and turns, Ringing Bells Pvt. Ltd has finally managed to bring the world’s cheapest smartphone to market. Freedom 251, priced at Rs. 251, is ready for delivery with two lakhs devices, said the company’s Founder and CEO Mohit Goel. The delivery will begin on June 30.
According to the announcement provided by Ringing Bells in February, it was planning to sell 25 lakhs unit before June 30. However, the registrations went high to seven crores, leading to the failure of the payment gateway.
Goel has assured that the registrations will be opened again after the first phase of delivery. In his conversation to IANS, he said that the company is facing a loss of Rs. 140 – Rs. 150 per unit. However, he expects to compensate this loss by selling more number of devices.
"We will have a loss, but I am happy that the dream of connecting rural and poor Indians as part of the 'Digital India' and 'Make in India' initiatives has been fulfilled with 'Freedom 251'," Goel said. He also added that the company has manufactured the handset at their Haridwar-based manufacturing unit.
There were several allegations against in company as the experts in the field claimed that a mobile handset cannot be manufactured for less than Rs. 2000. Thus, the company came under the radar of the authorities.
A prototype handset was released to the media earlier for the review, but they were found to be from a Delhi-based importer Adcom. The phone's design and specifications were found to be identical to the Adcom Ikon 4. However, the company insisted that only the body and the parts come from Adcom.
The company’s claim to fulfill a huge production in less than a month, apprehensions on phone’s testing and certifications, sourcing of the parts, lack of a proper manufacturing unit, and so on raised severe criticism from around the nation.
In the current announcements, IANS reported that no device was given to them for testing. However, the specifications of Freedom 251 are said to be 4-inch, dual-SIM phone with 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage. The users can expand the memory up to 32GB. There is also an 8MP camera on the rear with LED flash, a 3.2-megapixel front camera for the selfie and an 1800mAh battery. It runs on Android 5.1 (Lollipop). The company has integrated all basic Google apps on the device. It's a 3G device.
Freedom 251 is available in two colors - black and white. The device displays the Indian Tri-color when switched it on.
As a new initiative, Ringing Bell has also announced that it is coming up with a 32-inch HD LED TV set for less than Rs. 10,000. “Within two days, the delivery would be made and we will sell them online," Goel said. He claimed that there is a one lakh stock already for the television sets.