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Ringing Bells Says the Freedom 251 Smartphone Is Not a Scam! 

The most affordable smartphone in the world has been in the news for its fair share of controversy and excitement.

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The Freedom 251 smartphone has been making waves in the country over the past few days. The phone, dubbed the most affordable smartphone in the world, comes from a brand called Ringing Bells. The company has boldly promised to get the cost down to Rs 251 for a smartphone called Freedom 251. That’s less than the cost of a McDonald’s Happy Meal!

Also Read: Ring(ing) Bells of Caution: Why You Should Not Buy the Freedom 251

However, this market-changing product and its company have been caught on the wrong side for claiming to sell at heavy losses. The company has even come under the radar of the Income Tax folks (raid is around the corner) which have raised alarm bells about whether the company will actually deliver on time or not.

If you’re looking for answers then here’s what Ashok Chaddha, President at Ringing Bells Pvt. Ltd., has to share with its buyers who have booked the Freedom 251 via their website. Read on.

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Why Has Freedom 251 Got Adcom Branding on the Front Panel, Hidden by Using Whitener?

We just wanted to show a sample/prototype of what the Handsets will look like. This is not the final piece, hence, we obviously wanted to provide “Made in India” handsets as promised. We did a quick and intensive search and located the components but the touch plate, we faced a problem in view of the fragile nature in addition to the scratch-proof requirements of the piece. ADCOM is an Indian company and we were able to source from them. We would clearly mention that the Final Freedom 251 manufactured/ assembled in India would be to identical specs - ie no change ! There may be some changes in curvature/ buttons placements for aesthetics, if at all.

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How Many Handsets Have Been Sold so Far?

We managed to book 30,000-plus phones and on Day 1, these were reflecting the fact that our Payment Gateway could not support the Transaction Load and as per guidelines are deposited in the Nodal Account with the Payment gateway where the company will claim payment only after submission of delivery proof. We have 3.70 Cr registrations on Day 1 + 2.47 Cr on Day 2 as of 19:49 hrs.

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The user interface icons are exactly like Apple’s iOS on the iPhone?

It should be noted on a closer look, that the UI, even on the prototype, is not identical to Apple. In any case, we will have our custom designed new UI for our Final Freedom 251.

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Why isn’t your Freedom 251, which is a 3G phone registered with Qualcomm like other devices?

At present we are using Spreadtrum chipset, hence we do not understand the need to register with Qualcomm.

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Why offer a rebranded phone to the media when the actual product is not ready?

When we design a concept, we produce a prototype to demonstrate. Then we test the acceptability from the target audience.Once this is accepted, we take this prototype to the design house to design the chipset; the mould and then we decide on the actual add-ons like the buttons - the colour - screen quality etc. We did not distribute the handsets, we handed over them the prototypes to assess the acceptability and validate our concept.

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The Indian Cellular body states that a phone cannot be priced this low, do you benefit from special govt. support? Are you ready to answer the authorities?

The Indian government is not partnering the company. We will comply with all required regulations of TRAI & Telecom Authorities in India.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Smartphone   Freedom 251   Ringing Bells 

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