Ringing Bells Desperately Seeking Government’s Help; Freedom 251 Deliveries Start on July 8
When we reported the news about Freedom 251 deliveries by June 30, we were a little skeptical about the company. However, the company soon announced that they will be delaying the launch date by a week, into July.
Mohit Goel, CEO – Ringing Bells, even went on to comment that there are 2 Lakh units ready for dispatch, but nothing came out of it. In a new development, the company has delayed the actual dispatch date to 8th July, making us more uncomfortable about our optimism.
“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 Mohit Goel.
The CEO also claims that initially they were making a loss of Rs. 930 per handset, which cost Rs. 1,180 to manufacture. However, with the revenue from advertisements on RInging Bells’ website, the company recovered a decent sum of money. Finally the total loss on the smartphone is now Rs. 180 to Rs. 270.
Ringing Bells has reached out to the Government to provide it some incentives to cover up the losses, a desperate attempt to make headlines in the market. A plea that goes beyond science and technology, to human emotions so as to get some benefits from the Government.
Why is Ringing Bells being so unreasonable?
Firstly, no one requested the company to launch a $4 smartphone ‘for the millions in India’ who cannot afford such luxuries. There are plenty of smartphones that perform better and come at a not so hefty price tag.
Secondly, the Government already has the burden of so many bigger (and more important) requests and projects that they cannot, and should not, just focus on Ringing Bell’s plea. If Ringing Bells deserves incentives and discounts, so do other manufacturers who have stood by their customers and not given false promises.
Ringing Bells’ letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi read –
“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.”
Mohit Goel went on to say that if the Government contributes Rs. 50,000 Crores, he can ensure 750 million of India’s population would be able to use the smartphone. This is his way of convincing the Government to offer them the capital required to support digital India.
How can Ringing Bells generate revenue on its own?
So the smartphone won’t actually be Rs. 251, but Rs. 40 more than that. Clearly, the losses reduce even further per handset. The company can then create custom applications for its smartphone users and charge them a nominal fee per download.
The Government can provide authority for the company to pre-install some applications in the smartphone and generate revenue through them. Ringing Bells is also planning to launch ultra-cheap HD LED televisions, and we feel before doing that, it should focus on one market first.
Do you think the company is correct in requesting Government’s help? The Chinese companies never requested any help and have been churning out high-end budget smartphones for very long. Only one day to go, let’s see if Ringing Bells is able to meet the deadline this time.