For an entire week, the news folks couldn’t get enough of the world’s cheapest smartphone — the Freedom 251. Announced by an Indian company called Ringing Bell, the handset supposedly offers a 4-inch IPS screen, 1.3 GHz quad-core chipset, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB internal storage, 3.2 megapixel rear camera, microSD card slot, and 1450 mAh battery. All this, for only for Rs 251. Yes, that’s cheaper than most accessories such as a screen protector or case. Now, shouldn’t we all be singing praises for the company’s owner while pre-booking the handset?
The answer is NO. Not your normal ‘no’, a big ‘NO’. Imagine an annoyed Chinese shopkeeper turning down your bargain offer, it is that no. While many news agencies are sceptic about the Freedom 251 smartphone, I am absolutely certain that it is a big scam. So damn sure that I will eat my Lumia 830’s 2200 mAh Li-Ion battery if the domestic company fulfils its promise.
To find out why it is a scam, you don’t even have to do any investigation. The guys who run Ringing Bells are doing great to make every armchair Sherlock’s life easy.
Unrealistic Pricing (Rs 251)
Millions of people are wondering how the company will sustain selling a smartphone so cheap. However, the guys at Ringing Bells are not worried at all. That’s because, they have no plans to do the business. The idea here is to present a scheme for masses, get instant fame, rub shoulders with influential people, acquire free land, and disappear. I know that the Government is not subsidising the price, but with some lobbying, Ringing Bells will get cheap/free land to setup a manufacturing/assembling plants. In a country where Asaram gets acres to build child molesting Ashrams, a company waving the “Make In India” flag has a high chance.
The President of Ringing Bells, Ashok Chadha, admitted that it costs around Rs 2500 to build the Freedom 251. He said that there’s no government subsidy, but the project takes full advantage of the benefits provided by Make In India and Startup India. To explain the feasibility of selling the phone for 1/10th of its manufacturing cost, he offered logic, as accurate as rainbows fired by Unicorns. “If you look at the Indian market, it is at 2-crore units a month. If you take 30 per cent of that, then you achieve economies of scale.” He insists that the company will set up three more plants in addition to the existing two. “Because of this economies of scale, we reduce the cost of the phone by around Rs 500.” Next stop in his “khayali pulaav” was duty exemption. “we reduce around Rs.400 on the price by getting a duty exemption (13.8 per cent).” Chadha also plans to set up his own e-commerce platform to cu the middlemen. “We save another Rs.480 this way.” Even if we buy into this trash talk, the cost still remains Rs 1120. Things don’t add up, so Chadha simply states that “Many players want to use our e-commerce platform to sell their products, so we make up the remaining Rs.700-800.” Brilliant!
Fake In India
Many of the publication houses including LiveMint have revealed that the review units sent out by Ringing Bells are actually Adcom A400 phones. What’s worse is that the company simply used whitener to hide the Adcom branding. Fucking A! For those not in the know, the Adcom A400 sells for Rs 4000.
According to the corporate website, “Established in 2015, Ringing Bells Pvt. Ltd. is one of the fastest growing smartphone company in India.” The company was registered in the second half of 2015, have hardly shipped any smartphone, and yet is a “fastest growing smartphone company.” That makes total sense.
Headed By CuteMohit
More than the unrealistic pricing and lack of manufacturing experience, it is founder’s Facebook profile that tells you not to waste time with the Freedom 251 facade. For starters, Ringing Bells’ owner goes by the name ‘CuteMohit’ on Facebook. Aww!
If that wasn’t “cute” enough, he wears a pink t-shirt with pop collar. The grown man also uses beautify filter to smoothen skin in selfies. The narcissist guy attaches this message to his display pic: