Mangaluru: Talk about “Make In India”- The world’s cheapest 3G smartphone, launched by an Indian firm, will cost only Rs 251 ($3.7). Ringing Bells, a Noida-based outfit, on Wednesday, 17 February 2016 launched the highly affordable smartphone, Freedom 251, at the hands of Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. The company had last year launched one of India’s cheapest 4G smartphone at Rs 2,999.
The booking for the smartphone had begin today (Thursday, 18 Feb) at 6.00 am and will go on till 8.00 pm, February 21 – on the freedom-251.com website. The smartphone has a 4-inch display, 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage (expandable up to 32GB), 3.2-megapixel back camera, 0.3-megapixel front camera, and a 1450mAh battery. The phone runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system and offers 3G support for Internet browsing. It is pre-loaded with apps like Facebook, Whatsapp and some that are useful for women, farmers, etc. The phone also comes with a 1-year warranty.
Smartphones are available in the Indian market for as low as Rs 1,500. There have also been reports that said that efforts were on by Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications for only Rs 999. Ringing Bells is likely to begin assembling the smartphone handsets in Phase-I and ‘aims at full indigenous development of the feature-rich smartphones’. No other details were disclosed. The launch of this phone is likely to severely disrupt the booming Indian mobile phone market.
Even as the phone was launched, reports said that the Indian Cellular Association has expressed is shock at the idea of a smartphone being sold at Rs 251. The ICA has reportedly written to the Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and appealed to the government to get ‘into the depth of the issue’ as the telecom body believes that the rate of smartphone cannot be less than Rs 3,500 even after a subsidized sale. India is the world’s second largest market after China, having surpassed the United States.