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Why the Freedom 251 smartphone is so cheap

Breaks and marketing decisions are why India's new $4 smartphone is so cheap, company says

Sean Ridgeley | Feb 18, 2016 at 6:05 pm CST (0 mins, 55 secs time to read)

Yesterday we reported India was getting a new $4 smartphone dubbed the Freedom 251. With a price that low, naturally, concerns have arisen over its quality and sourcing.

Why the Freedom 251 smartphone is so cheap |

Turns out Ringing Bells -- the company behind the phone -- is expecting to get lot of breaks, allowing it to cut costs now in anticipation of future savings. Bells is expecting state governments to waive duty fees, with more waived through the Make in India initiative (amusingly, the phones will be 70 percent made in Taiwan) and startup schemes. Finally, they say the remaining cost reductions will be made through 'economies of scale.'

Without these breaks, they claim the phone would cost anywhere from $36 to $43. So why not do that anyway? Marketing. The idea is to sell the 251 on the cheap in order to make its new brand famous (and it's sure working so far), then use that fame to sell future higher-priced models. Keep in mind it plans to sell only about 200,000 phones at the $4 price. The scheme worked for Datawind, who manufactured the aforementioned tablet -- no doubt Ringing Bells is following their lead.

Last updated: Apr 6, 2020 at 04:56 pm CDT

Sean Ridgeley

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Sean Ridgeley

Sean has a background in journalism, and has been using that to write about gaming and tech since 2008 - first for Neoseeker, then Rage3D, and now, TweakTown. As News Editor, Sean's job is to supply regular stories on the latest happenings in the tech world. He also writes tweak guides to help you get the most out of your PC games and hardware.

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