Recently, Ringing Bells, a Noida based telecom firm, shocked the masses with the launch of its ‘Freedom 251’ smartphone, with huge buzz and became the overnight sensation around the world.
The company launched the hyped up ‘Freedom 251’ smartphone , a “made-in-India” product with features such as: 4-inch display, 1.3-GHz quad-core processor and 8 GB of storage which is simply mind-boggling with a rock-bottom price of just Rs. 251 ($3.65).
Moreover, it has a Android 5.1 operating system, a 3.2-megapixel primary and a 0.3-megapixel front camera. The company is claiming to have received nearly five crore registrations in just two days of opening up for online pre-orders.
However, the excitement around the world’s cheapest smartphone was short lived, as just after its release, the device was being reported as a scam, as it is being blasted by telecom industry officials and analysts, which are indicating that the deal is too good to be true.
Pankaj Mohindroo, president of the Indian Cellular Association told sources :
“This seems to be a joke or a scam. It is something we are very upset about”
An official also told :
“An internal assessment was done by the telecom ministry from the day the phone was launched. Officials have found that such a handset cannot be offered for less than Rs.2,300-2,400”
Richard Windsor, an analyst at Edison Investment Research, was also skeptical as he told :
“This launch has generated a lot of waves, and we suspect that either after the first batch has been sold, the price goes up to $53 per device or that the company quietly disappears,” he said. “There is no way that these economics add up in the long term”
In addition, Ringing Bells also didn’t respond to multiple phone calls and emails, seeking comments and queries. Moreover, sources told that during the launch event of ‘Freedom 251’, the ‘whitener’ appeared to have been used to cover another brand on the sample phones they were allowed to test.
According to sources, the photos from the launch event also show that the phone’s home screen icons have been ripped straight from Apple’s iOS, and was an obvious copyright violation.
Meanwhile, Ringing Bells, has confirmed to have received online orders amounting to 25 lakh units and claimed to get them delivered by June 30th 2016. The company is also in talks with offline distributors to sell 25 lakh Freedom 251 smartphones at the local stores.
In fact, Ringing Bells has also officially stopped taking more orders, as the firm claimed that the requests for Freedom 251 have exceeded what the company planned to sell in the first phase. The company told that the second phase will be announced soon.
Let’s wait and watch whether this phone really provides mobility or it is just a fast-fashioned replacement product!