2 Lakh Freedom 251 Handsets Ready for dispatch; Ringing Bells Launching LED TV Next Month
One of the most talked about handset maker in India in recent times, Ringing Bells, has been making headlines in foreign media about its $4 smartphone, Freedom 251, completely unheard of being capable of until now. Can anyone think about making a smartphone as cheap as that? A big no.
Now the company has claimed that it is ready with 2,00,000 smartphones in its inventory to be shipped on the 30th of this month. Earlier Ringing Bells had claimed shipping by June 28, but it looks like the Noida-based company has extended that by just two days.
This means those who registered successfully and got a confirmation, will be getting the smartphone by as early as first week of July. Initially, the company had claimed to ship 25 Lakh units by June, but they cut down by almost 90% to get the ball rolling. Apparently the registrations were overwhelming for the company and one of the reasons why the final volume of units is lower.
“We learned from our mistakes and decided to go silent till we come out with the product. Now we have a 4-inch, dual-SIM phone ready for delivery. I feel vindicated,” said Mohit Goel, CEO – Ringing Bells.
To compensate for lower shipments initially, the company plans to ramp up its production and sell nearly 2,00,000 units every month to its customers through new registrations. Yes you have to register again to confirm delivery of the smartphone, something we are not able to decipher.
How is Ringing Bells going to keep up with the hype?
The company got 7 Crore registrations on its website in the week of unveiling, which ended up crashing its website. Initially what looked like a scam, came out as an unintelligent and poorly executed idea by the founders.
Rs. 251 is not worth a lot these days, considering you can’t even get a decent pair of headphones with that much money. Now, Goel says that Ringing Bells is making a loss of nearly Rs. 140-150 on a handset, but it will normalize once the production increases and economy of scale comes into picture, one huge pillar for the company.
The smartphones are currently being manufactured in a facility in Haridwar and the company plans to open more in Noida and Uttarakhand soon. As the new factories open, more handsets will be churned out for users eagerly waiting to get a glimpse of the world’s cheapest smartphone.
Ringing Bells looking to expand to LED TVs?
As if one industry was not enough, Ringing Bells is planning to enter another market by launching ultra-cheap LED TVs. Any sane company would first hold its ground in one segment and then expand to others.
In fact, what’s funny is that Ringing Bells is not planning to launch a slightly expensive smartphone with high-end features, but a completely new gadget for consumers. The company is planning to launch the TV ‘Freedom’ by as early as next month and will be the cheapest LED TV in India, priced below Rs.10,000.
That might not look cheap, but let’s wait for the specifications of the television sets to get a complete picture. The company already has 1 Lakh units of these televisions ready and plans to offer 2-day delivery promise through the e-commerce route. In contrast, 32-inch LED TVs, which are a norm these days, start at about Rs. 11,000.
Do you think Ringing Bells is going too far with the new developments? We feel it should concentrate on one segment first and then diverse into other markets. This is turning out to be interesting and the company is well adept in creating a hype in the Indian market.