As the affordable smartphone market in India continues to grow by leaps and bounds, a company called Ringing Bells is all set to launch a new smartphone that is rumoured to cost around ₹500. The company is part of the 'Make In India' initiative started by PM Narendra Modi.
The phone, named Freedom 251, will be unveiled at Wednesday with exact price and the other specifications, said a report by Gadgets 360. The event will see government officials such as Manohar Parrikkar, Union Minister of Defence, and Murali Manohar Joshi, Member of Parliament, to support the Digital India initiative. Earlier this month, Ringing Bell had also launched a 4G-enabled smartphone Smart 101 costing ₹3000.
There have been a lot of attempts in the past to make technology affordable and cheap. Most notably, Aakash Tablet a.k.a Datawind Ubislate, which was launched in 2011 at ₹2500. The tablet was even promoted by Government of India for students. The company is still making tablets that cost under ₹4000.
In 2014, the makers of the Firefox browsers launched Alcatel OneTouch Fire C running Firefox OS. This phone was priced at ₹1999. Other phone makers such as Micromax, Karbonn, Spice, have been releasing sub-2k models time to time. Google had launched a program called Android One to make cheap Android phones with good standards and software. But most of them were around the ₹7000 range.
India has recently gained the number two spot in the world in terms of smartphone shipment. More and more people are buying smartphones in the country every year; last year, the shipment number reached 100 million units. Although Samsung continues to be the leader, the market share of Indian manufacturers grew significantly last year.
It is yet to be seen how a ₹500 smartphone performs, but our guess is that, at that price point, it can attain significant sale numbers.