Everything you wanted to know about India’s cheapest Smartphone, Freedom 251

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It’s obvious that you would try to recheck if you have heard it wrong when someone tells you that the fully functional Smartphone are available for just Rs. 251 in India. But this is not the hoax; it is now the well-known fact that the small time Noida based company that started few months ago has launched the Smartphone in India that costs only Rs. 251.

The news flashed in all the national and local news channels on February 18, 2016, that Ringing Bell, a Noida-based company had announced the booking of India’s (or perhaps the world’s) cheapest Smartphone for just Rs. 251. Known as Freedom 251 this news took the whole country by storm.  According to the news published by one of the national daily, the working Smartphone for Rs. 251, without any government subsidy, is bound to attract the apprehension in the market.

[su_expand more_text=”READ MORE” less_text=” ” height=”0″ hide_less=”yes” link_style=”button” link_align=”center”] Regardless of all the speculations, the fact remains that the company had managed to bring the Freedom 251 Smartphone to India and is openly selling it at the cost which is lesser than the good fast food meal from McDonalds in India. The Freedom 251 is a full-fledged android based Smartphone with quad-core processor and 1GB of Ram is the best available option today in India.

With this announcement, the company has generated huge guesswork in the marketplace. The target audience is not yet set for this Smartphone since it is not yet released in the market but the entire country is flooding the website for the purchase of at least one. Anyway what difference does it make even if you are offering it to your kid as a toy? According to the sources in IANS new agency the first day of booking of the Freedom 251 led to crash their website, it seems more than 600000 heats generated on their website just in a matter of few seconds. It is not only the heats issue that their website is facing at the moment but the sources have revealed that the company may also face the copyright issue from one of the giants in the field of Smartphone manufacturing.

According to the sources, the huge crowd gathered outside the office of Ringing Bells Pvt. Ltd. the makers of Freedom 251 due to the website crashing while placing the orders for the Smartphone. “The company has mired in controversy for the alleged copying of Apple iPhone icon design and appearance, nearly six lakh hits per second left Ringing Bells Pvt. Ltd. with no option but to shut the online pre-booking offer within hours of opening the registration with a promise to reinstate the booking within 24 hours,” revealed by the sources.

On the 18th morning after the news started spreading from various media the booking of Freedom 251 started on www.freedom251.com but within no time the payment gateway stopped responding that led to the crashing of the website. The crowd outside the factory premises started shouting, some even offered to pay to double the amount towards the booking of Freedom 251 claimed the sources. The company officials apparently locked themselves inside the premises looking at the crowd gathered outside their factory. One of the local residents Vikas Kumar told the IANS that “The Smartphone is for the farmers and fishermen, how can you expect them to book it online? They neither have internet connections and nor they know how to operate the computers. How do you expect them to register online? We are unable to order online and hence we are here for the unit or two.” Media tried to speak to the company officials but in vain.

According to the sources, the country’s mobile manufacturing lobby has united against this move asking the government how any company can afford to sell the Smartphone in the country for Rs. 251 when the cost of production itself is around Rs 2700. “For your kind information, the bill of material value for a product like this when sourced from the cheapest supply chain cost approximately Rs 2,700 ($40). And this, when translated into retail price after addition of applicable duties, taxes and with distribution and retail margins would be at least Rs 4,100 ($60) while the product is being sold at Rs 251,” ICA national president Pankaj Mohindroo wrote in the letter.

The Company tried to provide the following information to the media to ease the doubts from the people’s mind.

According to the company sources, while the market is using the substandard products to provide the products at cheaper rates, Freedom 251 Smartphone delivers without any subsidy from the government. The company also agreed that any Smartphone should ideally cost around Rs. 3000 and the Ringing Bells is offering the consumers Rs. 3000 like Smartphone performance at Rs. 251.

The company has also claimed that they will bear the difference of the price by providing the benefits to the consumers directly in this case the company providing the subsidy to the government. According to the Ringing Bells president Ashok Chadha, his primary goal is to go for the mass production thereby reducing the price. “Once the platform is established we will opt for the alternative sources of income,” said Chadha adding that the company is not looking for the making of huge profits in the beginning.

According to Chadha, the cost of making Smartphone is around Rs. 2000, “By making it in India the cost goes down by Rs. 400 and by selling it online it further reduces by Rs. 400. We are sure that this Smartphone will be in a lot of demand. We are assuming to save around Rs 500 from this economy of scale. At last, we wait for our platform to grow, so, that we can make money from other services,” he said adding that, the company is also planning to introduce the SIM card within a couple of years which will be the main source of Income.

The sources in the company have claimed that due to server overload the company has completely stopped booking of the orders on the Freedom251.com website. The Ringing Bells will restart the booking process soon. To book one the consumers will have to visit www.freedom251.com on February 22 and all the consumers are expected to get their Smartphone by June 30, 2016, claims the company.

Source: Various Sources  [/su_expand] 

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