The Noida-based company had launched Freedom 251, pegged as the world’s cheapest smartphone at Rs 251 per piece, in February
Five months after being mired in controversies over pricing and delivery of its Freedom 251 smartphone, Ringing Bells on Thursday claimed the company would ship its first lot of 5,000 phones from Friday.
“We will try and retain on our focus…to deliver our promise (of Rs 251 smartphone),” Mohit Goel, managing director of Ringing Bells, said while unveiling the smartphone, a low-cost LED TV priced at Rs 9,900 per unit and feature phones.
The Noida-based company had launched Freedom 251, pegged as the world’s cheapest smartphone at Rs 251 per piece, in February. The company got about 7.5 crore enquiries for its smartphone through its online portal, and another 75 lakh registrations from offline mode. But soon the company ran into a controversy after competitors said the pricing was not feasible, which also led to a probe by the authorities. The company was then forced to refund the money taken for the smartphones.
On Thursday, the company relaunched the Rs 251 smartphone and promised to start its first delivery of 5,000 units from Friday, further which it plans to ship about 2 lakh units in the first phase. Consumers will, however, have to pay R40 extra for the shipping charges.
Ringing Bells, this time around, will cross subsidise its Rs 251 smartphone from the sales of its LED TV, feature phones and two other smartphone variants, since the cost of the smartphone will be Rs 1,250-Rs 1,400 a unit. It also plans to garner revenue from advertising and apps installed on the handset, while keeping its margins low by selling through online channels.
Ringing Bells had last month stated that it will start deliveries for 2 lakh handsets from June 30 initially, then mentioned 10,000 devices will be given to customers in 19 states, and has now brought it down to 5,000 devices.
When the phone was announced in February, 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.