An unbelievable price, a glitzy launch and a massive buzz. Noida-based Ringing Bells, the promoters of Freedom 251, the world’s cheapest phone priced at just Rs 251, had done everything that could to make the launch event a big success. But the launch has left more questions than answers.
Few days after its launch, the income tax department has smelled a rat in its launch. A three-member team from the department reached the company’s office in Noida
on February 19. The company has been under suspicion for launching the phone at such a low price tag, with its management reportedly telling that they have not partnered with any telecom operator nor is it being subsidized by the government.
Generally, a phone with specifications such as a quad core 1.3 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, a 4-inch screen, 8 GB internal storage, sell in the market at around Rs. 4000 to Rs. 5000.
People holding advertisements at Ringing Bell’s office. hindustantimes
The company claims that it will be able to sell at this price by making the phones in India, and using economies of scale.
All phones sold in India have to be certified by the Bureau of Indian standards. There are a huge number of tests that are conducted, and these are necessary in order to sell a phone in India, whether it’s imported or made here. Ringing Bells is not on the list of manufacturers registered by BIS.
A PTI report suggests that the telecom ministry is believed to have sought a clarification from Ringing Bells for marketing its ‘Freedom251’ mobile phone without a BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) certification. While the world kept asking questions and Indians remained puzzled, the company has claimed that it has received nearly five crore registrations in just two days of opening up for online pre-orders. However, Ringing Bells president Ashok Chadha said that the company will hand over 25 lakh ” Freedom 251″ phones to the people who have registered for it online.
Mohit Goel, Managing Director; and Dhaarna, CEO of Ringing Bells.financialexpress
The smartphones will be handed over via first-come-first-serve basis, Chadha claimed. According to him, the company is looking to set up two more units – one each in Noida and Uttarakhand. But how fast the company is going to start the manufacturing and churn out devices is a big question.
Do you think Ringing Bells will deliver Freedom 251 as promised?