Freedom 251: Here’s Why Your Dream To Own The Cheapest Smartphone May Go Down The Drain
Ever since Noida-based company Ringing Bells lifted curtains off the Freedom 251, the world’s cheapest smartphone, it has set the nation on fire with its ‘Rs 251’ price tag. Its affordable price tag and huge media coverage made it an instant hit among masses but then, there was more to the story. The Freedom 251 got caught up in controversies because it was way too affordable to be real.
The usage of correction fluid to hide Adcom logo on the prototypes that were handed over to media representatives; crash of the Freedom 251 website, or inability to book the device online when even the site was restored…everything forced people, media houses as well as the government to find out real story behind this cheapest smartphone launch that aims at bridging the digital divide.
The result: it grabbed the attention of Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who then asked the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) to investigate the Rs 251 smartphone scheme offered by Ringing Bells.
DeitY is likely to summon the management of the Noida-based company that is offering Freedom 251 for a meeting because experts are of view that this Rs 251 scheme is too good to be true. The information was revealed in an Economic Times report. A senior official at the Ministry of Communications has told ET that meeting is likely to take place during this week itself.
However, the company’s president Ashok Chaddha, when approached by the business daily, denied the news. He said, Ringing Bells hasn’t yet received any call from IT department.
It is worth noting that this move has come after BJP MP Kirit Somaiya approached a host of ministries raising issues about the company claiming to offer the world’s cheapest mobile phone.
Earlier, the Indian Cellular Association (ICA) had urged Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to delve deep into the issue as the industry body believes that the price of this device couldn’t fall under-Rs 3,500 even if a subsidy is provided, a PTI report has revealed.
We wonder what was the ministry doing when Ringing Bells had introduced Android-based Freedom 251 smartphone in the presence of veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi on February 17. But we must say, if this handset comes to the market for real, it would really start a new revolution in the Indian smartphone industry. What say?