Remember Freedom 251 by Ringing Bells, which was touted as the most affordable smartphone in the world? We are yet to hear from the Noida-based company after it announced that it has delivered 5,000 smartphones in July and promised to provide another 65,000 shortly. However, it has not fulfilled its promise, and it seems the project has been put on the back burner
If you are one of those people who has booked the ‘Freedom 251’ and still waiting for the elusive smartphone you are not alone. The promise to provide 200,000 smartphones which have been touted as the cheapest smartphone in the world (less than $4) has fallen flat on the back. The project was suspect from the beginning, and skeptics said that any sensible person with some knowledge of technology could tell that it is just not possible unless the company is into philanthropy.
It could be dubbed as the biggest fiasco of 2016, and it also showed the nation in a very bad light. The company has since started manufacturing Televisions and other smartphones. The episode also showed the country in an appalling light. Experts had warned in the beginning that it was a ploy by the company to gain recognition but its real intentions were in more profitable ventures. What better ways than this to obtain popularity without going for any advertisement blitz which is commonly seen when any new company forays into the market.
In mid-February, the company had planned to deliver 2.5 million handsets before June 30. There was more than 70 million registration before the payment gateway crashed. When contacted, Ringing Bell spokesman said that the company is focusing more on building up a distributor network. It has now dealers in more than 200 cities. It has also widened its product base to include Televisions and high-end smartphones. However, he was quiet on the question of Freedom 251’s disappearance.
In an earlier interview, CEO Mohit Goel said that if the Government was willing to put in funds he will ensure that 750 million Indians have a smartphone for Rs. 251. He said his company his ready to allow the use of its brand name if the government can make the product by some other vendor. However, the public is not ready to take his explanation, and it can be concluded that the incident has put the trust of the company in severe doubt.