Freedom251 Smartphone Sells For about $4 in India

Orange Pi Development Boards

Electronics is getting pretty cheap those days with ESP8266 WiFi modules for $2 shipped, Raspberry Pi Zero for $5 (in theory), Orange Pi One for $10, 4K TV boxes for $30 and so on. But a $4 smartphone? No way! But that’s about the price of Freedom251 smartphone  that is sold by a company called Ringing Bells for 251 Rupees, or about $3.67, plus 40 Rupees for shipping ($0.58) to India only.

Freedom251_smartphoneFreedom251 specifications:

  • SoC – Quad core processor @ 1.3 GHz
  • System Memory – 1 GB RAM
  • Storage – 8 GB flash + micro SD slot up to 32GB
  • Display – 4″ touchscreen IPS display with 960×540 resolution
  • Connectivity – WiFi, Bluetooth, GSM and 3G
  • Camera – 3.2MP rear camera, 0.3MP front camera
  • Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, FM radio
  • Sensors – Proximity sensor
  • Battery – Removable 1,450 mAh battery

The phone runs Android 5.1, and come pre-installed with some apps specific to the Indian market like “Woman Safety”, Swachh Bharay, “Fisherman”, “Medical”, and “Farmer”,  as well as Google Play, Whatsapp, Facebook, YouTube, etc…

The BoM cost is clearly above $3.67, and NDTV got an early sample showing Adcom logo, and it turns out Adcom Ikon 4, which matches the specs of Freedom251 phone, sells for $60 in India. They also noticed that Android user interface has been customized to look like iOS.

Freedom251_iOS_User_InterfaceAnyway that means the phone has been subsidized in some ways, but what’s concerning is that it’s not clear how, as it does not seem to be locked to any particular telco, and I could not find specific info as whether it was subsidized by the government either. [Update: It’s not subsidized by the government according to Ringing Bells, so how they managed this is a mystery, unless the product is a scam…]

While people living in India can purchase one now on Freedom251.com, the cart mentioned it would be delivered in 4 months…

Via XDA Developers and Liliputing

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onebir
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onebir

It may not be directly subsidised by the governmment, but Modi/BJP have a lot of corporate connections interested in capturing the huge untapped lower end of the Indian ‘data market’. See recent Facebook/India scandal:
http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/toi-edit-page/its-a-battle-for-internet-freedom/

Let’s hope this works out better than Modi supporter Omidyar’s involvement with Microfinance:

“Let’s not forget that Omidyar-funded SKS Microfinance was implicated in a rash of gruesome suicides by indebted Indian villagers, mostly young women, some of whom drank bottles of pesticides or drowned themselves to avoid SKS Microfinance debt collectors.”

https://pando.com/2014/05/26/revealed-the-head-of-omidyar-networks-in-india-had-a-secret-second-job-helping-elect-narendra-modi/

Sander
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Sander

Well, India and cheap hardware announcements. I remember when Indian press announced a Indian 30$ computer including a keyboard. After a few weeks, it turned out to be … a keyboard only.

Compliments to @cnx for the clear statement “The BoM cost is clearly above $3.67”. So in a few weeks or months we’ll see the reality of this phone.

Raju Bharati
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Raju Bharati

M-276, Sukanta Nagar, Salt Lake City, Sector 4, Kolkata 700098

TLS
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TLS

Apparently their website had 600,000 hits per second, so they had to turn it off as it was crashing their servers…

Sk Murad Ali
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Sk Murad Ali

Good

anon
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anon

> Raspberry Pi Zero for $5 (in theory)

Now popped up on everbuying.net . Price? $20. Chinese guys don’t lie about price…

paul taraneh
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paul taraneh

Heard yesterday that a reviewer was able to etch off some paint which reveled the unit a Chinese model then the ceo read questioned he said” our mokups are made in china” I’d pay the4 $ to either get tune device or join thebaait and switch lawsuit that will soon follow

Arnab
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Arnab

@onebir
Do you have any proof of government involvement in this ???

Anyway you smell like a congress fanboy.