New Delhi, Feb 20 : The telecom ministry has done an internal assessment on viability of the handset ‘Freedom251’, being touted as the world’s cheapest smartphone at Rs.251 (less than $4), and found such a device cannot be offered for not less than Rs.2,300-2,400, say informed sources. “An internal assessment was done by the telecom ministry from the day the phone was launched. Officials have found that such a handset cannot be offered for less than Rs.2,300-2,400,” an official source told IANS. (Read: Freedom 251 website showing error? Here’s how you can still order world’s cheapest smartphone!)Also Read - Ravi Shankar Prasad Gets Telecom Ministry Along With IT, Law
Noida-based startup, Ringing Bells, which is promising the world’s cheapest “Make in India” smartphone, on Friday claimed to have received nearly five crore registrations in just two days of opening up for online pre-orders. Ringing Bells president Ashok Chadha told IANS that since the company will hand over 25 lakh “Freedom 251” phones to the people who have registered for it online, the firm is now considering whether to stop the registration process which was supposed to go on till 8 p.m. on February 21. Also Read - Free and Fair Internet in Offing as Telecom Commission Gives go Ahead to Net Neutrality, New Telecom Policy
Taking the world by surprise, the firm on Wednesday launched “Freedom 251” smartphone that, it said, has been developed “with immense support” from the government. There are, however, some apprehensions about its final appearance and performance. It looks similar to an Apple iPhone. All the icons of the built-in app are a pixel-to-pixel copy of Apple’s iOS icons. Also Read - Tampering IMEI Number a Punishable Offence With Jail Upto 3 Years
“Freedom 251” has a Android 5.1 operating system, a 4-inch qHD IPS display, a 3.2-megapixel primary and a 0.3-megapixel front camera. The smartphone comes with pre-installed apps like Swachh Bharat, Women Safety, WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter, among others.