Ringing Bells Pvt. Ltd., right on schedule, is all set to ship out the first units of the Freedom 251 on June 30.
The Freedom 251 is known all over the world as the $4 smartphone, and the company is releasing the product in a bid to empower all the citizens of India with modern technology without the high prices that usually accompanies it.
On June 30, Ringing Bells will ship out almost 200,000 units in the first batch. At a price of 251 rupees, which is equivalent to $4 and the basis of the smartphone's name, customers will receive a device with a 4-inch 960 x 540 screen, a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 8 GB of expandable memory, 1 GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 3.2-megapixel front-facing camera. The Freedom 251 will also be powered by Android 5.1 Lollipop, instead of the more recent Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
The specs of the smartphone are nowhere near those of flagship smartphones, but they are good enough for a fully functional smartphone that will allow users to enjoy the conveniences provided by the recent developments in smartphone technology.
The announcement and development of the Freedom 251 has been met with extreme controversy, as there is immense doubt that the product will be a feasible one to produce. In fact, there are still some allegations that the whole thing is actually a scam.
There was also an earlier controversy wherein the Freedom 251 was said to be nothing more than a rebranded version of the Adcom Ikon 4, which is an entry-level smartphone from China that comes with a price tag of about $54. In addition, it was noted that the price of the smartphone's parts exceeded the price at which it is selling for, and that the icons of the device's app were basically rip-offs of the ones Apple uses in the iOS.
Ringing Bells, has admitted that the company is taking a loss for every unit of the Freedom 251 that it is selling, but it believes that it will be able to make up for that through the sheer number of sales that the company is targeting for the device.
It remains to be seen whether the Freedom 251 will function well. While the device is severely underpowered compared to even mid-range smartphones, it should be noted that its specs are much better compared to the original iPhone, which was released nine years ago at a price tag of $599.
If the Freedom 251 is able to deliver what it promises, it might change the smartphone industry not just for India, but also for the rest of the world.