Freedom 251 Cheapest Android Smartphone in India, Sale on 18th Feb 6AM is an Make in India Initiative..
There has been much excitement around the Rs 251 smartphone, which, in all probability, makes it the world’s cheapest. While much of the details around the Ringing Bells Freedom 251 was released prior to the official launch and quite a few questions have also been raised.
The Freedom 251 looks like yet another iPhone clone, not only on the exterior (complete with the circular home button) but even the app icons appear like a rip-off of what’s found on iOS.
Freedom 251 handset will have a 4-inch WVGA (480×800) IPS display, 3.2 megapixel auto-focus rear camera, 0.3 megapixel front camera, 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB of internal storage with SD card support, 1450 mAh battery, and Android 5.1 Lollipop OS.
Bookings for the phone will start from February 18 and will close on February 21. The deliveries, however, according to the company will be completed four months later – by June 30, 2016.
Defense Minister Manohar Parrikkar will launch the smartphone ‘Freedom 251’ on February 17. “The phone will be popularly priced at under Rs 500…this event and launch stands as a true testimony of success of the latest initiatives taken by the Government of India,” according to a media invite sent by the firm.
Speaking at the launch, MP Murli Manohar Joshi praised the phone, and talked about the importance, not just of increased digital penetration in India, but also of making products in India. “Unless India innovates and makes something new, it cannot progress,” he said. “Because if technology is expensive then it’s useless. You need technology for everyone, for fishermen and farmers and students. But technology that is cheap should also still be usable, cheap by itself is not enough.”
“The bill of materials [cost of the parts] for a phone like this is around Rs. 2,000 – by making in India we take away around Rs. 400 from that; by selling online we cut overheads and save another Rs. 400,” explained Chadha. “And as the numbers go up, we’re not talking lakhs but much more, we save another Rs. 400 from economies of scale. And then, our platform becomes big, and attractive to others, so we can then highlight products that are worth buying for our customers, and this is another source of income. We will pass all of this on to the customers, we want to make only a small profit per unit.”