India's $4 Smartphone Arrives This Week

In India, the world's cheapest smartphone will finally start shipping this week. Amid a wave of controversy, The Freedom 251 - named after its price in rupees, equivalent to just $4 USD - was first unveiled in February.
 
Many wondered if the Freedom 251 would ever make it into the hands of consumers - or if it would remain little more than a fanciful dream due to the questions being raised on the production viability issues at such a low price. 
 
 
Image Source: freedom251.com
 
Ringing Bells’ Founder and CEO Mohit Goel stated in The Indian Express,
 
 “We learned from our mistakes and decided to go silent untill we come out with the product. Now we have a 4-inch, dual-SIM phone ready for delivery. I feel vindicated.”
 
The specifications that would attract its customers are:
  • 4-inch display
  • 8MP rear and 3.2 MP front camera
  • 3G connectivity
  • 1.3 GHz quad-core CPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8 GB internal storage (expandable up to 32GB)
  • 1800mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • Available in black or white
The company received an overwhelming response and it can be seen from the fact that it already had seven crore (70 million) registrations from people interested in buying the device. A piece of good news is that Ringing Bells will re-open registrations for the device after its site collapsed due to the huge volumes of traffic after its initial announcement, as soon as the first phase of 200,000 shipments is complete, according to Goel.
 
Operating at a loss of Rs.140 to Rs.150 per unit, Ringing Bells is happy that the dream of connecting rural and poor Indians as part of the 'Digital India' and 'Make in India' initiatives has been fulfilled with Freedom 251.