‘CHEAPEST SMARTPHONE’ LAUNCHED BY BJP’S MURLI MANOHAR JOSHI
#Cosmoread: All’s not well with Rs. 251 phone
Billed as the country’s cheapest smartphone, the Freedom 251 handset that is being sold by Noida-based Ringing Bells has raised several questions even before its high-profile launch.
BJP MP Murali Manohar Joshi launched the smartphone at a function held here Wednesday evening under the Make in India banner. Defense minister Manohar Parrikar was earlier supposed to launch the phone, sources said.
The 3G handset features a 4-inch display, Qualcomm 1.3-GHz quad-core processor and 1GB RAM,according to details shared by the company. The Android Lollipop-based handset will have an on board storage of 8GB with support for expandable memory of up to 32GB. It features 3.2-MP rear and a 0.3-MP front facing camera and a 1,450 mAh battery. A phone with such features, which would put a relatively expensive smartphone to shame, is near-impossible to be sold for the price point of Rs. 251, say industry experts.
So how is Ringing Bells managing to sell it for such a low price? Rumors of the Central government subsidizing the project have begun making the rounds in media circles.
“There is no way the company can sell the product at such a low cost without subsidizing it ,” Jayanth Kolla, founder and partner at research firm Convergence Catalyst, was quoted as telling a news website.
- The Phone doesn’t look like the picture advertised on Freedom 251’s website; instead it looks like a replica of an Apple iPhone complete with round home button
- The phone is reportedly imported via Adcom- a firm whose name is emblazoned on the handset; This is counter to the company’s claims of being ‘Made in India’
- Freedom 251 may possibly be infringing upon copyright: all of the built-in app icons including the web-browser app look very similar to those used on Apple products
However, with the government not announcing any selection process, questions will emerge as to how Ringing Bells was awarded the project, if at all it becomes known that it is a government backed project.
Tech experts have said there are clear-cut infringements of copyright technology. For starters, the phone looks like a replica of an Apple iPhone while all of the built in app icons including the web-browser app look very similar to those used on Apple products.
The phone goes on sale from Thursday, and can only be bought from the company’s website.