Sounds crazy but it is true the cheapest smartphone in India was launched today at a very affordable price point of Rs. 251. The smartphone is made by a Noida based company Ringing Bells which is not much known in the smartphone arena.
Ringing Bells were founded in 2015, and the company has got probably the most substantial subsidy from the government if they plan to sell the smartphone at just Rs. 251. The cost of assembling the device in India will exceed Rs. 2000 at least as per the industry analyst, so it is mostly subsidized as claims the Ringing bells in it’s two full page ad in Times of India.
The smartphone is not only India’s most affordable smartphone but also is the cheapest smartphone in the world. Chinese may have become jealous at least seeing the sub $4 pricing on the new Freedom 251.
Earlier it was rumored to be priced at Rs. 500 but later on we got a confirmation that the smartphone is priced at Rs 251. The smartphone will get unveiled today by Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi in Noida.
The Freedom 251 bookings will start from 18th February at 6 am and will continue till 21st February at 8.00 PM. Unfortunately, the smartphone deliveries will happen in June which is quite a long period of waiting.
The link to book the smartphone is not yet shared, but we will update the article as we get the update link to book the mobile. We will also book one of the freedom 251 to see how it works.
Ringing Bells says in a newspaper ad that the smartphone is part of the P.M. Narendra Modi’s digital India Initiative and is heavily subsidized to make the smartphone super affordable for masses in India whom government wish to bring on to the digital platform and taste the Internet.
Before the Freedom 251, there were Akash tablets launched by the Indian government at the time of Congress in power, though it was a good initiative, it was not successful to bring much social change.
Smartphones are something which everyone desire whether living in urban India or rural and internet connectivity with WhatsApp and Facebook are changing the way people interact and stay connected.
It can be a great move for bringing the masses to start the online journey with an affordably priced smartphone.
The specs for the smartphone are very good considering the cost of the handset, and we hope the device functions properly and enable lakhs of needy people to come online and learn and discover new things.
Here are some Actual Pictures of the Freedom 250 – It looks different compared to the earlier Images released by Ringing Bells.
Key Specs for the Freedom 251 Smartphone
- Screen Size – 4.0 inch
- Processor – 1.3 GHz Quad Core SOC
- RAM – 1 GB RAM
- 3G/2G Support – Yes
- OS – Android
- Battery – 1450 mAH
- Rear Camera – 3.2 Mega Pixel
- Front Camera – 0.3 MP
- Internal Storage – 8 GB
- Expandable – 32 GB using Micro Sd Card
- Price Rs 251
- Availability – June 2016
The smartphone is quite similar to the Adcom IKON 4 smartphone which is priced close to Rs. 4,000 and does have a resemblance to the iPhone 6.
We definitely don’t want the free basics from Facebook, but such moves from Indian government are much appreciated. Provided the taxpayers money is utilized effectively to deliver a decent product for needy and not become a money laundering funnel for politicians to siphon millions of dollars through such initiatives.
You can visit the official website – www.ringingbells.co.in or the www.freedom251.com to know about more details and registrations.
A Note to Candytech readers – We are not sure about this company as of yet, there is no information about the founders on their official website. Buyer should always practice due diligence before giving money, it may or may not turn out to be a fraud venture. You may get your smartphone or may not.
Is it worth the gamble to just put in Rs. 291, that you have to decide.
It is actually not possible to sell a smartphone for this price as the cost of components itself is higher than at least Rs. 3000.
Then how and why they are selling it cheaper?
There is only one reason for that are getting the hype and marketing for free, the amount of publicity this gimmick has done is at least 10X more than the amount promoters have spent on newspaper Ads and giving free smartphones.
If they would have bought prime time TV ads and blogging and website space to do a story on the phone, it would have costed them over 100 crores which they would have managed in less than 10 Crores with this fantastic marketing strategy.
I can bet this will go into the case study in B-Schools 2 years down the line named as – How to do disruptive marketing in true sense!
In a shocking turn of events in the much-talked case of Freedom 251 smartphone, the company which was supposed to make smartphones for Ringing Bells is perturbed and threatens to Sue them.
To recall – Ringing Bells showcased the Adcom Idol 4 smartphone to the media during the press conference and told that they would be launching a similar smartphone.
In a statement released by the Founder and Chairman Sanjeev Bhatia he clearly is upset about the turn of events that took place and name of Adcom getting dragged into this controversy.
As per the statement released by him, he calls Freedom 251 and Ringing bells the scam of the millennium.
He is upset as they are relabelling the smartphones from Adcom as freedom 251 and the business model of the company is shady and a disgraceful ploy.
Sanjeev Bhatia also discloses that they have sold the smartphones to Ringing Bell for Rs. 3600 which they plan to sell for Rs. 251.
It also dilutes his brand image and impacts the name of Adcom being dragged into this controversy done by Ringing bells.
In the statement, Sanjeev has threatened to Sue Ringing Bells if the fiasco impacts the brand equity for Adcom which he has build with hard wok of more than 20 years.
Apart from Smartphone business Adcom (Advantage Computers) majorly deals in Desktop cabinets, Key Board, Power Solutions, Multimedia Solutions, Speaker to 5.1 Channel and many more gadgets with 100 Crore turn over.
He also says that they are not connected with Ringing Bells for any deal related to supply of Freedom 251 smartphones, and they are not responsible for any act done by ringing bells.
Here is the Statement By Adcom Chairman Mr. Sanjeev Bhatia, courtesy NDTV.
“Touted to be the biggest scam of the millennium, Freedom 251, had recently announced that it would give out 25 lakh handsets in the first phase before June this year. Ensued by such unrealistic price rates and naive pronouncements, the parent company ‘Ringing Bells’ was not only accused of running a disgraceful ploy, but has also relabelled our brand Adcom. To clear the air around, I would like to underline few facts about the case, as this scam exhibits the potential of maligning our brand name Adcom which is our trademark since 2001. Yes, it is true that, although we sold the handsets to
‘Ringing Bells’ earlier, like we sell Adcom mobiles to lakhs of users; we were absolutely unaware of the reselling plans of the company in question. Furthermore, we still haven’t been able to evaluate their pricing policy, as we sold the handsets at Rs. 3,600 per unit. We are deeply grieved by this incident where our mobile phone has been presented to masses for Rs. 251, and therefore, would not hesitate from taking any legal actions against the company, in case the entire fiasco impacts Adcom’s brand name or subsequently, we face any other kind of losses. We would also like to assert that Adcom is in no way connected or linked with Ringing Bells or Freedom 251 and bears no responsibility what so ever, in the whole swindle and regret the inconvenience caused to our valued customers from all over the country.”
With Adcom raising alarming sirens about the freedom 251 things are getting much more complicated for the Ringing Bell and it’s founders who are still claiming that they will deliver the smartphones to the end buyers.
While Ringing Bells earlier this week has said they would be returning the money collected by the first 30000 bookings and will do a cash on delivery for the smartphones and are likely to start shipping by April end or May’16.
Ringing Bells already have a fall out with the call center company they tied up for customer queries and are at logger’s heads. With Adcom coming out openly against Ringing bells things are not looking good for the company.
We have shared our doubts about it the day they announced Freedom 251 in papers.
On the other side, Ringing Bells have not confirmed the OEM from which they will be sourcing the smartphone.
A lot of pieces for this puzzle are jumbled up and only time will tell what happens next.
The President of Ringing Bells Mr. Ashok Chadha may be in deep trouble if they are not able to deliver the smartphones. It is going to be more interesting what unfolds next in the curious case of Freedom 251 smartphones.
Update – March 05, 2016 2:32 PM.
Ringing Bell has issued a statement which talks about the controversy regarding their head office and also on the press release of Adcom.
Press release By Ringing Bells
While speculation is rife regarding the legitimacy of our occupying the premises we operate from, i.e. our Corporate Office at B-44, Sector 63, Noida 201301 in Uttar Pradesh, we wish to make it clear that the current dispute regarding the nature of business conducted at the property is between Noida authority and our landlord. It is our humble request not to drag us in any controversy.
On Adcom’s role, We would like to clarify that they provided some prototypes for the sample Freedom- 251 handed to some special guests including media for initial impression about the way phone would look and behave in future. We have other partners for assembly of our phones. We are happy to share their names on special requests!
The launch of the world’s most affordable and the cheapest smartphone Freedom 251 for a price of Rs. 251 by Ringing Bells Pvt. Ltd. has set the world by fire, with the common man rejoicing even in the midst of some unfavorable controversy. Citing heavy demand, we have now announced that we are no longer taking bookings on Freedom 251.
It also requested that our sudden rise is not misconstrued as a fly-by-night operation. The company has already instructed the Payment Gateway to refund the few online payments that came in on the first pre-booking 18/2 date. The mode of payment now will be only Cash on Delivery. The orders placed by the customers are not canceled but the payment will be taken only on delivery. Ringing Bells hopes to begin deliveries of Freedom 251 by around end of April.
Just as we have been taking due diligence to issues and matter brought forth to the management of Ringing Bells Pvt. Ltd.; we would continue to investigate and respond with due diligence. Rest assured the matter would be taken up with utmost sincerity and necessary action will be initiated according to the requirement. The negative impact some reports carried, has activated a comprehensive emergency response. Battling mistrust and facing severe criticism, the company would never scuttle its idea
Ringing Bells in the above statement said that they had used the prototypes bought from Adcom as display units and now they have other partners who will make the smartphones for them but yet again fail to name any partner. We have reached out to Ringing Bells to share the names of the companies from which they plan to source the smartphone, will further update when there is further information available.
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