Freedom 251

Ringing Bells, the maker of the world’s cheapest smartphone, announced Thursday it would offer the cash-on-delivery payment option for buyers of Freedom 251 smartphones. The Noida-based smartphone company said the new mode of payment would go live for the first 25 lakh customers who had registered to purchase the smartphone.

The new payment method would serve as an alternative to the existing online payment option, which was recently found to be insecure. The company has already received more than 7 crore registrations to buy the phone, but only 50 lakh handsets will be sold in the first batch.

“In furthering our service to you, we, at Ringing Bells, have decided to offer “Cash on Delivery” terms vs the previous Offer of via Payment Gateway, (sic)” Ringing Bells wrote in a brief post on Facebook. “By this, you, our esteemed Customer, will be required to make payment only when the phone is delivered to you. We are in the process of compiling the emails and issuing these to first 25 lakh registrations very soon. (sic)”

BGR India reported last week the website wasn’t secure enough to carry out online transactions, exposing users’ personal credentials to hackers. With the option to pay for the handset only after it arrives, customers will no longer require to share their credit or debit card details online or worry about losing money.

There has been a lot of scepticism around Freedom 251. Ringing Bells came under scrutiny by tax officials and the Indian Cellular Association, while buyers who were unable to purchase the phone online protested outside the company’s Noida office. Despite all this, Ringing Bells director Mohit Goel maintains his company will deliver the pre-booked handsets before June 30.

For those unaware, Freedom 251 features a 4-inch qHD IPS display, 1.3GHz MediaTek quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB expandable storage, a 3.2MP primary camera, a 1,450mAh battery and support for 3G bandwidths, all at a cost of Rs 251.

Goel said despite the low cost for a smartphone with these specs, that would otherwise cost at least Rs 2,300, the company would make a profit of Rs 31 on every sale.



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