Ringing Bells’ Freedom 251, priced at Rs 251 will finally be in buyers’ hands startingtomorrow – months after having paid the money to a scheme that was alleged to be a scam. Ringing Bells says deliveries will start with an initial batch of 5,000 units. Today, Ringing Bells chief Mohit Goel claimed that the company is ready to ship 2 lakh units of the smartphone.
However, that was revealed on the sidelines, while the major event that was held today by the company was for the launch of four new feature phones in the range of Rs 699-999 and two budget Android smartphones that are priced between Rs 3,999 and Rs 4,499.
The company also unveiled three power banks, and a 31.5-inch HD LED TV priced at Rs 9,900 that will be launched on August 15 on the occasion of Independence Day.
In February, Ringing Bells announced the Freedom 251 smartphone which saw an unprecedented rush for people looking to book the phone. About 30,000 people paid in advance for booking the phone and over 7 crore people registered for it, which is equivalent to the phones Samsung and Apple sell in an entire year.
The first set of deliveries will be through a lucky draw as promised by Mohit Goel. Goel said that initially he faced a Rs 930 loss on each smartphone that cost him Rs 1,180 and for which parts were imported from Taiwan.“I recovered Rs 700-800 from app developers and revenue generated through advertisements on Freedom 251 website. After selling the device for Rs 251 (cash on delivery), the total loss per handset is expected to be in the range of Rs 180-270,” Goel said.
In March, Noida police had registered an FIR against Ringing Bells in a case of cheating, following a complaint filed by BJP leader Kirit Somaiya. The police registered the case under Section 420 (cheating) of IPC and the IT Act against Goel and company president Ashok Chaddha, both of whom were named in the FIR.