With Ringing Bells' Freedom 251 creating ripples in India and across the world, we at Express wanted to check the online presence and track the record of the company. While there are growing concerns and controversies about the phone -- termed India's most affordable smartphone -- and it's makers.
When googled, we landed at the maker's website- http://www.ringingbells.co.in which showcased three other models namely, Smart 101, Master and 4u.
Surprisingly, one step into placing an order, a pop-up window appears that reads, 'Thank You India for such a overwhelming response. We are sold out in 72 hours. Bookings Will be Open Soon.'
Caught amidst a number of controversies, one being a patent infringement from Apple over built-in app icons being copied from Apple’s iPhone.
Media reports also allege they were given a smartphone from another manufacturer Adcom, with the latter's logo masked with a whitner.
Deepanjali Arora, Adcom's marketing head, denied of any knowledge about the issue. “We have no idea that our branding is being used on Freedom 251,” she told HT.
The promised pre-installed apps like Swachh Bharat, a women’s safety app, YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook, among others were found missing from the smartphone that the media house had received.
When questioned by media personnel, a Ringing Bells spokesperson said, “These apps will be there in the version of the phone that we actually sell.”
“This is just a preview version of the phone that we’re giving to the media to try out,” the Ringing Bells spokesman added.
In another instance, one of Ringing Bells' employees was quoted as saying that they have not actually seen the phone.