Earlier this year, Ringing Bells stunned India by announcing what it claimed the world’s cheapest smartphone, Freedom 251. It was priced at INR 251 (about $4) and millions of people clamored to book their device online. Even while Ringing Bells is yet to deliver the handsets (it was announced that deliveries will commence on Friday but did it?), it has launched India’s cheapest 31.5-inch LED television at INR 9,900 along with six new phones.
It has announced that 5,000 units of Freedom 251 will be delivered on Day 1 and the first set of deliveries will be on a lucky draw basis as promised by Ringing Bells Director Mohit Goel.
Noida-based Ringing Bells formally launched the final, commercial version of Freedom 251 at an event on Thursday. The company stressed that it will deliver what it promised to consumers.
First impressions denoted that Freedom 251 seemed like a new device altogether and was totally different from the prototype showcased and handed out to media previously. To recall, the prototype Freedom 251 units were rebadged Adcom devices, for which Adcom threatened to sue Ringing Bells.
Hit (INR 699), King (INR 899), Boss (INR 999) and Raja (INR 1099) were the four feature phones launched, while two smartphones — Elegant 3G and Elegant 4G — were made available for INR 3,999 and INR 4,999, respectively.
After its February announcement of Freedom 251 that surprised the world, now Ringing Bells is back in news after the Thursday’s announcement. Though the manufacturing cost of Freedom 251 exceeds the publicized price, it hopes to earn from bulk orders.
Will it turn out to be a success story and will the promised handsets reach the customers who have paid the price months ago? Well they are million-dollar questions which will be soon answered.