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India’s $4 Smartphone: can it really work?

  • 04
  • 05
  • 2016

When the question “Is this too good to be true?” pops into your head, it usually is too good to be true. This is exactly what happened with the $4 Indian smartphone.

A few months back, the news of the cheapest smartphone in the world spread like wildfire.

Ringing Bells, a manufacturing company based in India, made eyes sparkle and ears tingle when they announced the release of the Freedom 251 smartphone.


Equipped with a 4-inch display, 1.3GHz quad core processor, 1GB RAM, and 8GB internal memory, this was going to be the piece of technology to bring tens to millions of people closer to the world wide web.

Unfortunately, experts unmasked this sweet deal.

“This seems to be a joke or a scam. It is something we are very upset about,” said the national president of the Indian Cellular Association, Pankaj Mohindroo. “This is being investigated by various government authorities,” he added.


Determined to bring down this “scam,” Mohindroo wrote a letter to India’s Minister of Communications and I.T., where he expressed in detail that even when using the cheapest components, this phone would cost at least $40 to be put in production and would cost $52 in retail.

It was discovered that the Freedom 251 was a cleverly repackaged Adkom Ikon 4s, and even though Ringing Bells declared it was only for display purposes, it had to be pulled off the market.

Ringing Bells is currently under investigation, and it’s safe to say they won’t be launching “new” products any time soon.

Photo credits: Radiokafka/Yavuz Sariyildiz

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