India’s US$4 Smartphone Finally Gets Delivery Date


Published Date : Jun 27, 2016

The world’s cheapest smartphone is all set to be delivered to consumers in India, where the Freedom 251 by Ringing Bells has been making quite a stir. Priced at approximately US$ 4 (or INR 251), the phone will be hitting Indian markets on June 30, the company announced on Monday. Although several critics have been dismissing this unbelievable deal as a Ponzi scheme, the pre-booking of the mobile phone suggests otherwise. 

June 30 Set for Sale of Freedom 251 Handsets

Ringing Bells chief executive officer and founder Mohit Goel promised that delivery of the Freedom 251 will begin on June 30 and almost two lakh units of the smartphone are ready for sale. Once the first batch of Freedom 251 has been sold, registration for the mobile phone will commence for those who wish to purchase it. In mid-February, the company had stated that it will be delivering 25 lakh handsets by the end of this month. Claims were that Ringing Bells had received more than 7 crore registrations for Freedom 251 before the payment gateway crashed in a span of three days. Goel told media persons that the company had learnt from its mistakes and has decided that this time, it will remain silent till the product is out. Now that the company has a dual SIM 4-inch smartphone ready, Goel feels that they are back on track. 

Freedom 251 Faces Severe Criticisms

Ringing Bell was earlier accused by the Indian Cellular Association of making fraudulent claims about the cost of Freedom 251. The bill of materials for the device itself was pegged at US$ 40 and there was no proof to back the claim that the mobile phone was receiving any subsidies from a major carrier partner. Back then, this deal seemed too good to be true. It was also found later that Ringing Bells’ handset was akin to China’s Adcom Ikon 4, which is being sold for US$54. In addition, most of the applications on Freedom 251 have been picked up straight from iOS.