Ringing Bells Freedom 251, the world’s cheapest smartphone which was supposed to start shipping from June 30, will now be available only to winners of a lucky draw. Confirming the same with IndianExpress.com, Ringing Bells CEO Mohit Goel said they will organise a media event ‘soon’ to announce the lucky draw.
“We have got over 2.8 crore registrations from UP and close to 2 crore from Bihar,” said Goel, who claims the company has received a total of 7.5 crore registrations from across India.
Explaining how the lucky draw will work, he said: “We will give away 10,000 units in every state. We decided to hold a lucky draw because many people had registered for multiple phones. We want to bring it down to one phone per person.” The lucky draw winners will most likely be announced within two days, he added.
Goel is convinced their business model with the ultra-low cost phone will work and also plans to meet PM Narendra Modi. “We will write a letter to him explaining our business model and also give him a phone.”
Ringing Bells is planning a giant media event to give away Freedom 251, and showcase their LED TV as well. The company also plans to invite one winner from each state for the event.
Ringing Bells was to start delivery for 2 lakh units in its first phase from June 30. Now, with a lucky draw planned, only a handful will be able able to walk away with Freedom 251.
A lot of questions have been raised about the company’s preparedness in the past. For starters, booking Freedom 251 on the site was a task as it crashed several times.
Even those who have booked the phone have no way to check whether it is actually being delivered. The lucky draw means not everyone will get the Freedom 251. Also, there is no clarity on what the phone looks like as the ones showed during the launch were Adcom units — as acknowledged by the company.