Freedom 251 a smartphone from Ringing bells which was launched for Rs 251 in India which was most affordable android smartphone now Ringing Bells' Founder and CEO Mohit Goel says "We are ready with nearly two lakh 'Freedom 251' handsets. We will start delivery from June 30,"
Deliveries will start to customers who have registered for buying the phone, Noida-based company's Director Mohit Goel said. "We will start shipment of Freedom251 from June 30 to customers who paid for it earlier on COD (cash-on-delivery) basis
Ringing Bells began selling the handset, Freedom251, via its website in February. But the launch of the smartphone, touted to be the world's cheapest, swirled into controversy, with some calling it a ponzy scheme. Also, the website of the company crashed during two-day sale due to huge response from prospective buyers. The company claimed that around 30,000 customers had booked the phone despite the glitch.
Later, the company said that it would deliver the phone on cash-on-delivery mode to those who placed the order. Goel said that Ringing Bells has a foolproof plan to support the price but did not disclose it.
Ringing Bells President Ashok Chaddha had explained earlier that the manufacturing cost of the phone was about Rs 2,500, which had to be recovered through a series of measures like economies of scale, innovative marketing, reduction in duties and creating an e-commerce marketplace.
He had said that the company would make phones in India that would lead to 13.8 per cent savings on duties and further save on cost by selling it online. The phone was to be manufactured in Noida and Uttaranchal.
"Two plants will be set up for Rs 250 crore each with a capacity of 5 lakh phones. The money will come in the form of debt and equity (1.5:1)," Chaddha had said. However, industry players had expressed doubt over the claim. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad too had asked the Department of Electronics and IT to look into the matter.
Also see : Freedom 251 India's cheapest smartphone Officially Launched for Rs 251
The company had also come under the scanner of Excise and Income Tax Departments amid debate over the feasibility of a 3G-enabled handset for Rs 251.
According to Goel, he is facing a loss of Rs 140-Rs 150 per unit, but hopes to make profit on volumes. "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.
The 3G device has a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory and supports external memory cards of up to 32GB. No device was, however, given to IANS. Only a photograph was allowed to be taken.The company has offered an 8MP primary camera with flash, a 3.2MP front camera for selfie and a 1,800 mAh battery. It runs on Android 5.1 (Lollipop). The phone is available in two colours – black and white – with centrally aligned rear camera and branding on the back panel. It has a speaker just alongside the branding.
Freedom 251 received 5 crore registrations, 25 lakh units promised
Ringing Bells comes under excise, I-T departments' scanner
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