It has been less than 24 hours since the 'world's cheapest smartphone' Freedom 251 was launched and clouds of controversy have already started hovering over it.
Manohar Parrikar, India's defence minister, reportedly was not present at the product launch event, which is raising doubts about the authenticity of the product.
As per a Hindustan Times report, Ashok Chadha, an executive of Ringing Bell, the manufacturer of the smartphone, said that the real cost of the phone was estimated at Rs. 2500, which would be recovered with the following measures:
- economies of scale
- innovative marketing
- reduction in duties
- creating an e-commerce marketplace.
Adding to the report, the Indian Cellular Association (ICA) has written to telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad expressing doubts about the development. It estimated price of the phone should be around USD 60 (at least Rs. 4100).
When the phone was handed over to reporters, they found white paint coated over an Adcom logo. But according to Gadget 360 reports, the phone, which was handed out was not the final product that will be shipped to buyers. Reports also suggest that the device is not safe for use as it does not have BIS registration.
As of now nobody was able to order the phone successfully. The site is full of defects as users are directed to the same page even after filling out details of payment. Moreover, there are reports that whoever tried filled 0.5 in the quantity field found the price reduced to half rather than saying invalid quantity.
Now the site has put up a banner saying the page will be available in 24 hours.
View Gallery: Ringing Bells Launches Freedom 251 Smartphones