29 June 2016

NEWS: India to launch a £3 smartphone... or is it?

Smarts on the cheap.

Set for release on 7th July, the Freedom 251 by Indian company Ringing Bells, features 1GB of RAM, a four inch screen, 3G connectivity, and an 8MP camera. Oh, and a retail price of just 251 rupees (£2.77)!

If this all seems too good to be true, it might be. An Indian MP has already labelled the phone a "huge scam", while the President of the Indian Cellular Association has called it "a huge joke and scam" and that it is something "we are very worried about." It has been claimed that, even using the very cheapest components, a smartphone like the Freedom 251 would cost as least 2700 rupees (£29.78) to produce. Bearing in mind that more than 70 million people have signed up to buy one on the release date, and it all does seem quite concerning.

However, Mohit Goel, the founder of Ringing Bells, has stated that "we will have a loss," but that he's "happy that connecting the rural and poor Indians as part of the Digital Indian and Make In India initiatives has been fulfilled with Freedom 251." Prior to the developing the smartphone, Goel worked in the dry fruit business.

Is it a scam, or a major digital breakthrough for India? We'll find out on 7th July.

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