Expressing concern over the launch of ‘Freedom 251’ smartphone priced at Rs 251 by Ringing Bells company on Wednesday, mobile industry body ICA has written to Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to get into the depth of the issue, saying the rate of the handset could not be below Rs 3,500 even after a subsidised sale. ICA National President Pankaj Mohindroo said that it would be advisable that officers from Deity get into the depth of this and ICA will provide any technical assistance, if required.
‘Freedom 251’ smartphone priced at Rs 251 has been launched by Ringing Bells on Wednesday, causing the mobile phone industry body ICA to shoot off a letter to Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to get into the depth of the issue, saying the rate of the handset could not be below Rs 3,500.
After Ringing Bells company launched India’s cheapest smartphone, ‘Freedom 251’ priced at Rs 251, industry fears that this will disrupt the booming Indian mobile phone market. Ringing Bells ‘Freedom 251’ 3G handset features a 4-inch display, Qualcomm 1.3-GHz quad-core processor and 1 GB RAM, according to details shared by the company.
Also, the Indian Cellular Association (ICA) said that it is not appropriate for the senior political and government leadership to be present at the launch of Ringing Bells ‘Freedom 251’ till the air around this product is cleared and it is not shrouded under controversy.
ICA decoded the rate structure of Ringing Bells ‘Freedom 251’ smartphone and said, “For your kind information, the bill of material (BOM) value for a product like this when sourced from the cheapest supply chain costs approximately $40 (Rs 2,700).
Firming up the arguement against Ringing Bells ‘Freedom 251’ smartphone, ICA National President Pankaj Mohindroo said, “When translated into retail price after addition of applicable duties, taxes and with distribution and retail margins would be at least Rs 4,100 while the product is being sold at Rs 251,” .
Pankaj Mohindroo said further added that even if ‘Freedom 251’ is sold at lower margins in an e-commerce type subsidised sale, the final consumer price cannot come below $52-55 (about Rs 3,500-3,800).
Pankaj Mahindroo concluded his case against Ringing Bells ‘Freedom 251’ smartphone by saying, “There is no visible mobile operator subsidy involved in this, which in any case is not the way the Indian mobile market operates. We are bringing this to your kind notice, so that a scenario does not arise in the future, where the nation, the government of India, industry and trade are seen in a poor light.”