New Delhi :
One tech news that sent the business market haywire last week was the announcement of Freedom 251 by Noida-based Ringing Bells.
The news quite literally disrupted the mobile market and brought with it some serious doubts of scams and fraud.
The phone was launched at an event the scale of a big fat Indian wedding but soon drove into a controversy after reports of the company shoddily re-labeling Adcom Ikon 4 units as Freedom 251 with a whitener came out in the market.
Then some experts also slammed the company for cheating elements from the premium Apple iOS.
Let us take a look at some of the controversies surrounding the world's cheapest smartphone:
1. Specifications in a limited Price
The phone is offering 4-inch WVGA IPS display, 3.2 megapixel auto-focus rear camera, 0.3 megapixel front camera, 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB of internal storage with SD card support, 1450 mAh battery, and Android 5.1 Lollipop OS in just Rs 251 which is highly doubtful.
Tech experts and companies maintained that the rate could not be below Rs 3,500 even after a subsidised sale.
However, Ringing Bells president Ashok Chaddha claimed that company aims to set up a marketplace, the earnings of which will go into bringing down the price of the smartphone from an ideal Rs 2,300 or Rs 2,500 to just Rs 251.
But, how, we still don’t know and probably have to wait.
2. Design or copycat
Many would not know that Freedom 251 is actually Adcom Ikon 4 in disguise, in fact Adcom logo was erased shoddily with a whitener to achieve the feat. Then it is covered by a flag of India painted atop. Meanwhile, media which reviewed the product claimed that the specifications are very different from those publicised by Ringing Bells.
Ringing Bells president Ashok Chaddha refuted claims and said that the review units are in fact "not the final piece," and that they "were to serve only as prototypes given FOC to a limited list of persons".
He further redirected queries to Sanjiv Bhatia - the Director of ADCOM - to reveal the truth.
It is very similar to Apple iOS in looks, however seems to be an Android phone but is yet not listed as an Android partner.
The company has however maintained that it is registered with Google Android Developers Platform and clarified its stance by issuing a screenshot of an order receipt from Google.
It is not yet listed on the BIS certifications page but is expected to begin delivery on February 25. It is also not accused of being registered with Qualcomm, which is a mandate for all 3G handsets, the company clarified that the phone runs the Spreadtrum chipset, hence no requirement.
5. Bookings and technical glitches
The Freedom 251.com faced major technical glitches and frequently the website was downed due to overload on server. Them initially the website was not accessible without removing the standard 'www' prefix. The owner of ‘Ringing Bells’, the company which has been the hot news ever since its Rs 251 smartphone named ‘Freedom 251’ was launched, has claimed that as many as 25 lakh cellphones have been booked and 5 crore registrations have been made. Then payment confirmation notice was also not received by customers forcing another round of controversy.