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Technology: Will Ringing Bells deliver the Freedom 251?

Noida-based tech firm Ringing Bells, that ran into controversy after announcing a Rs 251 phone five months back, claimed it will start shipping the world's cheapest smartphone priced Rs 251 (hence the name) from today i.e. Friday, July 8.

Freedom 251 smartphone
The Freedom 251 smartphone

But the question is: will they keep their word? A look at the official website of the firm doesn't seem to inspire too much confidence. It doesn't mention any details regarding their feature product, in fact it's not even shown on the homepage.

What the user will get if he/she logs in is details regarding four new feature phones in the range of Rs 699-999 and two budget Android smartphones that are priced between Rs 3,999 and Rs 4,499. 'Elegance 4G' the phone costing Rs 4,499 has been prominently featured on the website. It also unveiled three power banks, and a 31.5-inch HD LED TV priced at Rs 9,900 that will be launched on August 15. (Click here to view the official Ringing Bells website)

Ringing Bells had last month stated that it will start deliveries for 2 lakh handsets from June 30 initially, then mentioned 10,000 devices will be given to customers in 19 states, and has now brought it down to 5,000 devices. The company's director Mohit Goel, who had last week stated that his company will soon start shipping 200,000 smartphones to buyers picked by lottery, said deliveries will start on Friday, July 8.

Goel added the first batch of 5,000 'Freedom 251' devices will be out for delivery from July 8 and buyers will have to pay Rs 291, including Rs 40 as delivery charges.

He had previously stated that Ringing Bells faced Rs 930 loss on each phone, which cost Rs 1,180 and the parts were imported from Taiwan. He had claimed that Rs 700-800 will be recovered from app developers and advertisement revenue.

When the phone was announced in February, about 30,000 people paid in advance for booking the phone and over 7 crore people registered for it, which is equivalent to the phones Samsung and Apple sell in an entire year.

The Freedom 251 handset has 1GB RAM, 8 GB internal memory, 3.2 megapixel main camera and 0.3 mp front camera, 1.3 Ghz quad core processor, 1,450 mAH battery and dual sim slot.

Ringing Bells claims to have invested about Rs 80 crore in business. Of this, it has gathered Rs 40 crore from distributors, 33 per cent from stake sale to partners who are assembling its phones and LED TV, and the rest from internal resources.
- With inputs from agencies 

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