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Freedom 251 maker seeks Rs 50,000 Cr from Indian Govt days before launch

Desmond

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Facing losses, Freedom 251 maker seeks Rs 50,000 Cr from Indian Govt days before launch

As consumers wait to see the cheapest smartphone at its scheduled launch in the capital on Thursday, its Noida-based makers have made another pitch for the government's support to make their loss-making venture "work for millions" who don't own such a phone.

As consumers wait to see the cheapest smartphone (less than $4) at its scheduled launch in the capital on Thursday, its Noida-based makers have made another pitch for the government's support to make their loss-making venture "work for millions" who don't own such a phone.

According to Ringing Bells CEO Mohit Goel, he initially faced Rs 930 loss on each handset that cost him Rs 1,180 and for which parts were imported from Taiwan.

"I recovered Rs 700-800 from app developers and revenue generated through advertisements on Freedom 251 website. After selling the device for Rs 251 (excluding cash on delivery), the total loss per handset is expected to be in the range of Rs 180-270," Goel told IANS.

The first batch of 5,000 'Freedom 251' devices will finally be out for delivery from July 8 and the receiver will have to pay Rs 291 (including Rs 40 as delivery charge) to get the unit, says Goel.

"In order to digitally-empower every Indian, if I can get government support under the Digital India programme, I can ensure timely delivery of 'Freedom 251' phone to all citizens at the same price," Goel said on the eve of the launch event.

In a letter written to the Prime Minister's Office dated June 28 asking for a meeting with Narendra Modi, Ringing Bells said: "We have brought 'Freedom 251' which we offer on 'Cash on Delivery' terms but we have a gap between the BOM (Bill of Materials) and the Selling Price. We, therefore, humble request government support to actualise the objective to cascade the availability and usage of smartphones all through the far reaches of our great nation".

Goel's ambition is huge. He says if the government is willing to dole out Rs 50,000 crore, he can ensure that 750 million of India's population would become part of digital India by owning a smartphone at Rs 251.

Bringing some modesty into the equation about the enormity of his demand, Goel says that the government need not give his company the money but can get it manufactured by another vendor.

"The government can make the phone - under our Freedom brand - from some other vendor. I have no objection to it. To make such phone for every Indian citizen, the government needs to allocate funds from its Digital India initiative," he said.

Having learnt his lessons from the controversial February launch when Ringing Bells invited senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, this time, Goel wants to play safe and is not inviting any politician for the launch.

"I want to keep this event controversy-free. I have proved that a smartphone is actually possible in this kind of investment. But to fulfill a mammoth handset order that runs in crores, we badly need government's support," he added.

To generate more revenue, he plans to go to the iCloud way and begin an online service called "WhiteCloud". "The aim is to make and provide at least 100 new apps online to 'Freedom 251' owners and charge them bare minimum -- to the tune of Rs 1 to Rs 3 per app - to generate revenue," he said.

After delivering 5,000 phones in the first batch, Goel says he will wait for customers' feedback. "I am ready with 500 service centres pan-India to address people's queries," he claimed.

The company will also showcase a 32-inch high-definition LED television - called "Freedom" - at the launch event.

"These will be the cheapest television sets in India and will be available for less than Rs 10,000. Online registration for the TV sets will be open from July 25 with delivery to be made from August 1," Goel said, claiming that the company currently has one lakh such pieces in stock.

In comparison, the price of a 32-inch HD LED TV sets normally begins from Rs 13,000 in online markets.

In an earlier interview to IANS, Goel had also claimed that they are ready with nearly two lakh 'Freedom 251' handsets.

The company had in mid-February this year planned to deliver 25 lakh handsets before June 30. However, it received over seven crore registrations before its payment gateway crashed within three days.

The 3G device has a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory and supports external memory cards of up to 32GB.

The company has offered an 8MP primary camera with flash, a 3.2MP front camera and a 1,800 mAh battery. It runs on Android 5.1 (Lollipop). The phone would be available in two colours -- black and white.

The device displays the Indian Tricolour when you switch it on. It will incorporate all the basic Google apps in the handset, according to Goel.

Source: Facing losses, Freedom 251 maker seeks Rs 50,000 Cr from Indian Govt days before launch | ETtec
 
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Desmond

Desmond

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Goel's ambition is huge. He says if the government is willing to dole out Rs 50,000 crore, he can ensure that 750 million of India's population would become part of digital India by owning a smartphone at Rs 251.

Either he's delusional or pathologically altruistic.
 

a_k_s_h_a_y

Dreaming
Well they can technically come up with a plan to give these phones to a million farmers under some scheme.
The politicians involved will take a cut and the seller obviously takes a cut.

Poor farmers get phones, we pay taxes.
 

Zangetsu

I am the master of my Fate.
Crap.....now Government will come to rescue with Money and that too 50k Crore

Government couldn't help Kingfisher Airlines and will support them :silly_NF:

who told them to initiate such a project with huge loss...seriously...bad plan model
 

Zangetsu

I am the master of my Fate.
Just last week, the company hosted another media event where owner Mohit Goel made a comeback with new handsets and an LED TV priced at Rs 9,900. He also confirmed that delivery of the Freedom 251 will finally begin but only 5000 units of the promised 2 lakh have been made. Ouch. To add insult to injury he said the company will analyse the feedback it gets from the first batch of consumers and then ‘THINK’ about making more units. He also added that the Government is not providing any support without which, making the rest of the promised units will be impossible

Why the Freedom 251 smartphone from Ringing Bells still doesn't make sense – Tech
 

ankitj1611

Journeyman
It would have been nuch better if they have sold it for rupees 1200 (actuall cost told by them).kam se kam inki image bani rehti.Digital India ki maa ki aankh kar di inhone 251 mein

Na kisi ko mila h ma kuch.upar se 4 feature phone aur shenzen ka kachra k roop m 4 android phone
 
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