Back in 2011- 2012, the government's ambitious pet project Aakash was almost synonymous to creating a Digital India, and so it's not very surprising that parallels are being drawn between the budget tablet and uber-cheap Freedom 251. However, this hasn't gone down well with Datawind, the makers of Aakash.
The success of Datawind and growth of the tablet market proves that Rs 251 phone is nothing like the Aakash tablet, Datawind chief Suneet Singh Tuli states. He calls the 251 a consumer offering, and the subsidized price is a marketing promotion. On the other hand, Aakash was never a consumer offering. It was a 100,000 units government project for educational purposes, he adds.
Ringing Bells was an unknown company until 15 days ago. Well, Datawind also wasn't that popular until it bagged the tender to build the tablets. However, Datawind was still decently popular for its cheap tablets. It is not a company that cropped up overnight and considered among the top 50 smart companies and successfully delivered 100000 units to IIT Bombay. It also paved way to a plethora of cheap tablets from BSNL, Micromax, and so on. Moreover, Aakash was an educational project to judge low cost devices' viability in the education sector, he states.
(Also read, Freedom 251 first impressions)
Now, one of the most obvious questions lingering on everyone's minds is how feasible it is to build the device. In a presentation made by the Datawind chief, he states that even the basic memory for the device costs over Rs 251. So, how is it possible to build and sell a complete device at the said price?
In the presentation, Tuli states that Aakash tablet was a 'real product' and larger quantities were made and delivered, which had a huge impact on the industry. Freedom 251 is a marketing promotion of an existing Chinese Chinese product already being sold in Nehru Place, he states. According to him, consumers are being misled as it is not possible to make the device at that price.
Meanwhile, Ringing Bells’ director Mohit Goel goes on to claim that the company will make Rs 31 profit on each unit sold. President Ashok Chadha has said that the price per unit is around Rs 1500, and not Rs 2500 disclosed during the launch.
In an interview with The Times of India, Goel has said, “Has there ever been a case of income-tax evasion against me or my company, or has there been an FIR filed against me in any police station? Why am I being called a ‘bhagora’ (who’ll run away with the money)? I intend to do a valid business, just like any other startup, and I have a business plan ready."
Ringing Bells successfully caught the country's attention with the launch of the Freedom 251 at the ridiculously low pricing of Rs 251. Goel also states that the delivery will begin on April 15. Well, only time will tell.
The mobile industry body ICA had reportedly written to Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to get into depth of the issue asking the rate could not be below Rs 3,500 even after a subsidized sale. Chadha has already cleared the air about the subsidy and also put forth the plan how the company plans to achieve the Rs 251 pricing.
(Also read: Here’s why the Freedom 251 costs only Rs 251)
Published Date: Feb 23, 2016 13:20 PM | Updated Date: Feb 23, 2016 13:20 PM