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Ringing Bells, the $4 smartphone maker, is officially under police investigation

Posted: , by Mihai A.

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Ringing Bells, the $4 smartphone maker, is officially under police investigation

Ringing Bells, the company behind the $4 Freedom 251 smartphone, is under investigation by the Indian authorities.

Last month, the Internet was set ablaze by the official unveiling of the Freedom 251, an entry-level Android smartphone with a quad-core processor that costs just $4 unlocked in India, the only country where the phone is available for pre-order. Marketed as the world's cheapest smartphone, the Freedom 251 has managed to create quite a stir in the tech community.

Kirit Somaiya, the leader of Bharatiya Janata Party, the largest political party in India, has filed a formal complaint against Ringing Bells. The manufacturer of the Freedom 251 is accused of violating Section 420 of the IPC and the IT Act. In other words, Ringing Bells is accused of 'cheating'.

According to Somaiya's complaint, it is not possible for a smartphone maker to sell a smartphone for just $4 without any carrier subsidies. As such, Somaiya believes that Freedom 251 is essentially fooling its customers. This is not the first time that Somaiya has publicly attacked Ringing Bells. Back in February, the BJP leader said that the Freedom 251 is little else than a Ponzi scheme.

At this point, we should note that the launch of the Freedom 251 is largely considered a flop. Just some of the sketchy details regarding the phone include the fact that the handset is actually a rebranded Adcom Ikon 4 (a smartphone made in China that sells for about $60), the Adcom logo is covered by plain office whitener, and that the icons used by the phone's Android 5.1 Lollipop implementations are blatant iOS rip-offs.

Indian police officials said that a team will now investigate the case. It remains to be seen if Ringing Bells can prove that it hasn't done anything illegal, although company officials did note that they are ready to cooperate with the local authorities.

Mohit Goel, Managing Director at Ringing Bell, tried to clarify the situation through a statement, although we must say that the wording is rather vague and the statement as a whole fails to explain how an inexperienced smartphone maker can afford to sell an unlocked smartphone at just $4.

source: NDTV

  • Options

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 20:24 2

1. bur60 (Posts: 876; Member since: 07 Jul 2014)

Hey PA, also some news about the FBI vs Apple case, they dropped the charges against Apple because they got inside the iPhone and "no longer need assistance of the company''

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 20:41 3

2. lyndon420 (Posts: 4952; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)

No point in reposting this particular story until the FBI discloses what they found...if anything. Somehow I doubt the FBI will admit to finding nothing if that turns out to be true.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 21:06 1

3. Subie (Posts: 1318; Member since: 01 Aug 2015)

Do you think really think that they would disclose specifics if they find the kind of info they are looking for?

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 23:43 5

6. sissy246 (Posts: 3873; Member since: 04 Mar 2015)

And what the H*LL does that have to do with this article.

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 05:04 5

10. phonehome (Posts: 811; Member since: 19 Dec 2014)


posted on 28 Mar 2016, 21:21 2

4. Jason2k13 (Posts: 1302; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)

I remember on their FB page hundreds of comments saying "proud to be Indian" because of this company and how the Indian government apparently helped? A few days later when the phone was announced, the design changed, and it was actually an unbranded phone from China. Now its under police investigation.

How embarrassing.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 23:14 1

5. ibend (Posts: 6610; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

if that pricing really possible, let them made some proper smartphone, like 5.5inch FHD, SD6xx, 16GB storage, a better design, and other entry level spec... and sell it for $40 internationally, now thats really what people can proud for, lol

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 00:33

7. almostdone (Posts: 237; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)

They're probably worried at this price point the phone can be just thrown away and probably doesn't have any 'tracking' gadgetry.

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 06:43 1

11. yoosufmuneer (Posts: 1518; Member since: 14 Feb 2015)

I think its time for Authorities to ring these people's balls.

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 09:17

12. jonathonpower7 (Posts: 49; Member since: 09 Mar 2016)

Can't make sense of it. Mostly because, why would they choose $4 add their price point?

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