Freedom 251 mobile: Price of Rs 251 drives booking chaos, gets Ringing Bells office mobbed
Freedom 251 mobile: The launch of the world’s cheapest ‘Made in India’ smartphone was thrown into disarray on Thursday as a mad rush to book Freedom 251 smartphone priced at Rs 251 (less than $4) caused the firm’s website to crash within hours of opening up for pre-orders. Taking the world by surprise, the firm on Wednesday had launched ‘Freedom 251’ smartphone that, it said, had been developed “with immense support” from the government.
Freedom 251 mobile: The launch of the world's cheapest 'Made in India' smartphone was thrown into disarray on Thursday as a mad rush to book Freedom 251 smartphone priced at Rs 251 (less than $4) caused the firm's website to crash within hours of opening up for pre-orders. Taking the world by surprise, the firm on Wednesday had launched 'Freedom 251' smartphone that, it said, had been developed "with immense support" from the government.
The smartphone would come with pre-installed apps like Swachh Bharat, Women Safety, WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter, among others, the company had said, informing buyers that pre-order for the phones would be booked on the company website from 6 a.m. on February 18 till 8 p.m. on February 21. The company is also charging a shipping charge of Rs 40 and claims that the smartphone will be delivered by June 30 from the date of booking. (Image Source: AP)
Ringing Bells 'Freedom 251' smartphone was unveiled at Nehru Park in Delhi by veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Murli Manohar Joshi on Wednesday. The company had also claimed in its invitation to journalists that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar would be present for the launch. However, Parrikar was not present at the event. (Image Source: AP)
Ringing Bells launch of Freedom 251 smartphone also led to chaos as a mad rush to book the device caused the firm's website to crash within hours of opening for pre-orders even as the company's Noida-based head office got mobbed by eager buyers. Despite several tries during the day to place an order for the Freedom 251 smartphone on
http://www.freedom251.com, the payment gateway remained elusive for people and the website finally went down.
According to Ringing Bells, 6 lakh hits per second left the company with no option but to shut the online pre-booking offer for Freedom 251 smartphone within hours of opening the registration – with a promise to reinstate the booking within 24 hours. (Image Source: AP)
Freedom 251 mobile: Earlier this week, Ringing Bells launched the world’s cheapest smartphone the Freedom 251 mobile priced at Rs 251 amid great fanfare – while the company had said Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar would do the honours at the launch, it was actually senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader M M Joshi who actually did it. (AP)
Hundreds of people crowding in front of the office were angry for not being able to get their hands on the cheap handset. "The smartphone is for farmers and fishermen but how can they expect them to register online? Neither of us has internet access nor we know how to operate a computer. We cannot order it online so we are here for a unit or two," a local resident, Vikas Kumar, said. Another local resident, Kishen Singh, said he was willing to pay double the announced price for the smartphone but complained that no one from the company was paying any heed to him.
Ringing Bells Freedom 251 smartphone is also mired in controversy for the alleged copying of Apple iPhone's iconic design and appearance. Earlier in the day, the photos of the smartphone in newspaper advertisements released by the firm showed that all the icons of the built-in app were almost a replica of Apple'’s iOS icons. Several attempts to speak to senior Ringing Bell executives on this controversy were in vain. (Image Source: AP)
"Dear friends, we are very grateful for your enormous response and your kind patronage and would submit that as of now we receive approx 6 lakh hits per second, as a result of which due to your kind overwhelming response servers are overloaded," Ringing Bells flashed a message on
http://www.freedom251.com. "We humbly submit that we are, therefore, taking a pause and upgrading the service and will revert within or before 24 hours," the message read.
'Freedom 251' claims to have an Android 5.1 operating system, a 4-inch qHD IPS display, a 3.2-megapixel primary and a 0.3-megapixel front camera. The device also claims to have 3G connectivity, 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM and 8GB internal memory and supports external memory cards of up to 32GB. To power "Freedom 251", the company has put a 1,450mAh battery and claims to have a service network of 650 centres across India.