Calling all smartphone companies – take a seat. Indian company Ringing Bells announced the launch of a smartphone that costs Rs. 251 (in local currency) and equivalent to $4!
However, considering the population of India and the fact that literally EVERYONE can afford this phone, demands for it skyrocketed and the company has indefinitely stopped taking orders from the public for now. The production company, Ringing Bells, has announced that due to unprecedented positive response from the public, they are unable to meet with the demand at the moment. Online orders through their official website have been stopped and those logging in are being diverted to a different page altogether.
But the real question is how a so-called “smartphone” can cost only $4, when other major companies like Apple and Samsung are charging rates that go through the roof. What are the features that this phone offers and does it match up to the competition? According to the official specifications released by the company, the Freedom 251 phone has the following features:
- 4-inch display
- 1.3 GHz quad-core processor
- 1 GB RAM
- 8 GB Storage (expandable up to 32 GB)
- Android 5.1
Seems legit, but the company manufacturing the phone itself is unknown and many are questioning the legitimacy. As a start-up company, it may seem well that they are on to something big like providing users with an affordable smartphone. However, with promises to make delivery in 4 months, there are those who doubt whether the company will be able to make timely delivery, or delivery at all, to over 250,000 people who have made an order already. People say that the company might shut down before the promised time, or sell the personal details users have provided for gain or worse still, take the money and run. $4 may seem like a small amount for one person, but if you calculate all the money totally collected for the phone through orders, it’s a big sum.
Though there is no official update from the Government of India, who seems to be busy with Make In India Week (an initiative to encourage start-ups to grow in India instead of founding their companies in Silicon Valley), a grey cloud lingers over the topic of the world’s cheapest smartphone and what may be the future of it. Fingers crossed, it works out well and we see a whole new world of smartphones that come with all the possible features, minus their exorbitant price.
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