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Freedom 251: Major controversies & How Twitterati & buyers reacted

 

NOIDA based smartphone manufacturer company, Ringing Bells Pvt. Ltd. setup in just 2015, has got great attention of public with its new smartphone that is world’s cheapest smartphone. The smartphone from Ringing Bells is named as Freedom 251 & is priced at Rs. 251, which makes it  the cheapest smartphone available till date in the whole world.

Freedom 251 booking 1

With this phone we have seen many controversies also. There are reports claiming it to be re-branded phone from Adcom, which is also a smartphone manufacturer based in Delhi. When asked with Adcom, they were unaware of the fact that the phone is made by them. Some major controversies are given below,

  1. The Indian Cellular Association (ICA) has also said that it’s not possibel to sell a 3G based phone for just Rs. 251. Here’s the official statement , “For your kind information, the bill of material (BOM) value for a product like this when sourced from the cheapest supply chain cost approximately USD 40 (Rs 2,700). ”And this, when translated into retail price after addition of applicable duties, taxes and with distribution and retail margins would be at least Rs 4,100 while the product is being sold at Rs 251,”
  2. There is no official operator subsidy added in this device from any government source, “Further, there is no visible mobile operator subsidy involved in this, which in any case is not the way the Indian mobile market operates
  3. As we have already reported about the first Hands-On of this device make it clear that it is fully Chinese copy of Apple iPhone 6/6s which might also be a issue in future for some patent & licencing terms. Even the build quality & Home button of this phone is similar to Apple iPhone 6/6S. App drawer is also having similar icons like Apple IOS.
  4. Pricing is also a concern. Everyone is talking about it. How is it even possible to make a 3G-enabled phone for just Rs. 251 which is equal to ($3.7). According to reports, the official price of Freedom 251 is actually Rs. 2500 but they have done some major cost cutting exercises to bring it down, “raft of measures like economies of scale, innovative marketing, reduction in duties and creating an e-commerce marketplace
  5. One more thing to be taken care of while purchasing this phone is that it is not being subsidized by the government of India or any official government body.
  6. Personal data is also a major thing to be taken care of in an online purchase. Those who are not able to bk the phone even after giving their personnel date like name, address & other details. this data may be compromised. When you open this in mobile, Google chrome also says that the identity of website has not been identified.
  7. As per reports from Hindustan Times, the smartphone is manufactured by Adcom but the name is being hidden with the help of whitener. Even Adcom was not able to confirm this. They were unaware of the fact & said ‘We’ll look into it” .
  8. User frustration with booking process, the most important drawback of this phone. Many users tried to book this phone starting 6AM but most of them were unable to book because of server issues.
  9. Poor order management was also an issue during the purchase experience. We have our inboxes filled with users asking about booking details & availability of the phone.
  10.  #Freedom251 is trending on Twitter with users trolling the company as well as the phone.

 

Shivam Singh
Shivam defines himself as a gadget lover and likes to cover every news related to gadgets. He has more than 4 years of blogging experience and is Senior Editor at GadgetOx. He has been covering Tech and Gadget news on other well-known Tech sites WinCentral and Nokiapoweruser since long. His other interests include driving and traveling. Write to him at Email: [email protected]
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