Not everyday you see a product being sold at almost 90 per cent discount than its production cost, let alone its MRP. But Ringing Bells, the new kid in the block, did it. It launched the Freedom 251 smartphone at just Rs 251 while its production cost is about Rs 2,500. Normally such a phone, at this point of time, would have been launched at about Rs 3,000 or more. Clearly, everyone is aghast, puzzled and are scratching their heads on hearing the price of Freedom 251.
DataWind’s CEO. Suneet Singh Tuli is among the sceptics. Ofcourse he has reasons to be worried. DataWind, which entered the Indian market with the Aakash tablet, is set to bring a mobile phone later this year at Rs 999. But Freedom 251 has now stole all the limelight from DataWind’s upcoming phone and have even had ruined its prospects.
“A 3G device with the specs offered would cost 8 times more. So, we’re interested in learing how they have achieved this, including all the licensing fees,” Tuli was quoted as saying.
Indian Cellular Association, which represents mobile manufacturers and retailers, has already complained to the telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
“If taxes and duties are added with the distribution and retail margins, a smartphone would cost about Rs 4,100,” ICA was quoted as saying.
“Even if the product is sold at lower margins in an e-commerce type subsidised sale, the final consumer price cannot be lower than Rs 3,500-Rs 3,800,” ICA futher added.
Meanwhile, even Adcom, whose logo was found on the Freedom 251, complained that they have no knowledge of their brand name being used by Ringing Bells for their phone.
Many analysts also slammed its design which they says is a replica of Apple’s iPhone. Even its app icons look like that of iPhones.