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Breaking News : Freedom 251: 2 lakh unit to be shipped via state-wise lucky draw b/w 30 Jun to 5 July
Freedom 251, the popular or rather sensational smartphone to have made tech enthusiasts across the globe sit straight and take notice is finally ready to reach users’ doorsteps. CEO Mohit Goel tells Tech2 that the Rs 251 smartphone will be ready to ship from 30 June, and the 2 lakh units will be shipped by 4-5 July. Talking about the LED TV , Goel added that he expects 1 lakh units by 30 June, and will go on sale by the first week, without any wait time.

He said that the delay was due to the battery, and its ‘Made in India’ smartphone is now ready. So, one of main questions is out of the 7.5 crore registered users, who will receive the device. The first 2 lakh registrations? Well, Goel has different plans. He wants to ensure the device reaches across India, and has planned state-wise lucky draws for the device. “We got the highest number of registrations from UP and so we will have a draw, about 2.5 crore, and so after a lucky draw about 10,000 users from the state will get the device,” he said. Similarly, he has planned lucky draws for other states. The devices will be shipped between the said dates, and on a cash on delivery basis. “Users will pay us only once the device reaches us,” he said.

The Freedom 251 is priced around Rs 250, which means it could get them a cut of estimated Rs 500 on the Rs 2,500 bill of materials. However, selling Rs 2,500 device at Rs 251 would still incur losses in crores.

This was the pilot phase, and Goel is sill uncertain about the next phase of shipments. “The next phase will start if we see some positive signs and support from the government,” he added. On asking, what support he expect. Goel said they have been looking for a land for the factory and plants. He also suggested a subsidy or some form of support could help them achieve the 60 crore units figure that we plan for the nation.

The company plans to use a software for the draw, as many people have registered for multiple phones. The software will ensure one email ID will receive just one phone, he said. “We have faced a lot of criticism and even had an FIR filed against us. We’ve been patient and taken it in our stride, and finally the phone is ready to be shipped,” he said.
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Freedom 251 Maker Says Deliveries Delayed, Will Now Start From July 6

[Image: freedom_251_7_ndtv.jpg]


*Ringing Bells says deliveries have been delayed to July 6
*The firm says it is ready with nearly 2 lakh handsets
*It is planning on organising a launch event on July 7

The delivery of the world's cheapest smartphone at Rs 251 (less than $4) will finally begin from July 6 and not June 30 as was announced earlier, its makers said on Wednesday, adding that they are trying to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi for garnering his support under the Make in India initiative.

According to Ringing Bells' Founder and CEO Mohit Goel, it is ready with nearly 2 lakh Freedom 251 handsets.

"In the meanwhile, we have prepared a letter requesting a meeting with our Prime Minister to pitch our case as a domestic smartphone maker which wishes to contribute towards 'Make in India' initiative," Goel told IANS.

"We are planning to organise a launch event in the capital on July 7, a day after starting the delivery," Goel added.

In an earlier interview to IANS, Goel had announced June 30 the date for delivery, adding that once he is done with this first phase of delivery (of two lakh phones), he will open registration again for those who wish to buy the handset.

The company had in mid-February this year planned to deliver 2.5 lakh handsets before June 30. However, it received over seven crore registrations before its payment gateway crashed within three days.

"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," he had told IANS.

According to Goel, he is facing a loss of Rs. 140 - Rs. 150 per handset, for which parts were imported from Taiwan, but hopes to make profit on volumes.

"We will have a loss, but I am 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," Goel said.

No device was, however, given to IANS. Only a photograph was allowed to be taken. The phone is available in two colours - black and white - with centrally aligned rear camera and branding on the back panel. It has a speaker just alongside the branding. The device displays the Indian Tricolour when you switch it on. The company has incorporated all the basic Google apps in the handset.

"Our devices are completely 'Make in India' and were manufactured at our Haridwar-based manufacturing unit. We plan to sell two lakh devices every month," he said.

The company is also planning to launch a 32-inch high-definition LED television - also called Freedom - in the first week of July.

"These will be the cheapest television sets in India and will be available for less than Rs. 10,000. Within two days, the delivery would be made and we will sell them online," Goel said, adding that the company currently has 1 lakh such pieces in stock.

Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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