Adcom denies it is manufacturing the Freedom 251; so who is?

Turns out, the that company which is supposed to be re-branding the Chinese smartphone to a Freedom 251, is not aware that its brand name has been printed on to the smartphone sold by Ringing Bells.

At a high-profile launch event in Noida, Ringing Bells, a relatively unknown smartphone brand announced its Freedom 251 smartphone with a lot of fanfare. Indeed the highlight was the Rs 251 price tag that got the attention of millions who took to social media to talk about it with many posting on various websites about their wishes to acquire more than one unit of the world's cheapest smartphone.

Freedom 251 Front new

Browsing through the web, we came across plenty of reviews and first impressions showing the Adcom logo (that is sometimes covered up with a whitener) on top to which HT got in touch with Adcom, an importer of completely built Chinese smartphones in India. Turns out, the that company which is supposed to be re-branding the Chinese smartphone (supposedly the Adcom Ikon 4) to a Freedom 251, is not aware that its brand name has been printed on to the smartphone sold by Ringing Bells. “We have no idea that our branding is being used on the Freedom 251,” Adcom’s marketing head Deepanjali Arora told HT. “We will look into this.”

But the smartphone has other issues to deal with which is where the above problem emanates from. Expressing concern over the launch of a smartphone at price as low as Rs 251, mobile industry body Indian Cellular Association (ICA) has written to Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to get into depth of the issue, saying the rate could not be below Rs 3,500 even after a subsidised sale. So is Adcom trying to hide the fact that they would source the a smartphone from China and resell it as a Ringing Bells made Freedom 251?

Surely, with shipping dates set for June 2016, it indeed raises the question as to who is building the worlds cheapest smartphone if Ringing Bells isn't. More importantly, with the bookings now open, the company will have to ready thousands of Freedom 251, else there are going to be plenty of issues for the high-profile people involved at the launch as well. One thing's for sure, this smartphone is definitely not 'Made in India' so neither does slapping the national flag on the back make it one.

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