Remember the Rs. 251 priced smartphone from Ringing Bells which created huge uproars after it was announced during February this year? Lots of things have happened since then. The company has faced several allegations from many eminent personalities and organizations worldwide and it was thought that the Freedom 251 smartphone is nothing less than a daydream. Few FIRs were even lodged against the company. Ringing Bells now claims that the company is ready to deliver the smartphones to its customers and the shippings would start from June 30. If this really happens, Freedom 251 would become world’s cheapest smartphone!
As per Ringing Bells 2 Lakh Freedom 251 smartphones has been manufactured
According to Mohit Goel, the CEO of Noida-based Ringing Bells, the company has already manufactured 2 lakh Freedom 251 smartphones for its first phase of delivery. The shipping process of these 2 lakh handsets would initiate from this Thursday. Earlier, the company had plans to deliver 25 lakh handsets before June 30. It also claimed to have received more than 7.5 crore online registrations through its website before its payment gateway crashed because of huge traffic. The company later moved on to a Cash on Delivery payment mode.
Ringing Bells imported all the parts of the Freedom 251 phone from a Taiwan-based company. The parts were then assembled in its Haridwar factory unit. The phones are being packaged as a “Made in India” product.
As per the specifications mentioned by the officials of Ringing Bells, Freedom 251 would have a 4 inch wide touchscreen, packed with 1GB RAM, 8GB internal memory and is expandable to 32GB. The phone would come with a 3.2 mp rear camera and a VGA camera in the front. It would have a 1.3 GHz Quad-core processor and would run on Android 5.1 Operating System.
Tackling the losses
According to Mohit Goel, the company is presently facing a heavy loss at present. Ashok Chaddha, the president of Ringing Bells is however hopeful to minimize the loss through a series of measures like economies of scale, implementation of innovative marketing techniques, reduction in duties and creating an e-commerce marketplace.
“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’,” said Goel. He is also hopeful of getting support from the Central Government in the future, since, without any strong backup support a small company like Ringing Bells wouldn’t be able to carry forward their visions. He further revealed that launching a phone at Rs. 251 is quite a challenging task and the challenge became even more when the entire country felt his offer to be fake. However, he wanted to prove himself by launching the phone at the said price.
“We wanted to first prove our mettle before approaching the government. Yes, we are a small company but we can make phones at Rs 251. First, we will deliver the phones and then we will try to connect with Prime Minister Narendra Modiji. If he gives us his valuable time then we will be very lucky”, Goel added.
Today, we tried to open the Freedom 251 website. The website redirected us to its parent company’s website of Ringing Bells. We didn’t find any mention of the Freedom 251 smartphone on this website, although, a few other products were listed in the products section.
We need to wait a few days more to see if the phone actually reaches its customers. Let’s see “Kya Sapne Sach Mein Sach Hongey?”. And, if that really happens, a daydream would surely become true!