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Ringing Bells to launch India’s cheapest sub—Rs 500 smartphone

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikkar will launch the smartphone ‘Freedom 251’ on February 17.

February 15, 2016 06:39 pm | Updated September 02, 2016 05:57 pm IST - New Delhi

Domestic handset maker Ringing Bells will launch India’s most affordable smartphone for under Rs. 500 later this week, a move that is set to disrupt the booming handset market in the country.

The launch is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for “empowering India to the last person, transforming India’s growth story”, the Noida-based company said.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikkar will launch the smartphone ‘Freedom 251’ on February 17.

“The phone will be popularly priced at under Rs 500... this event and launch stands as a true testimony of success of the latest initiatives taken by the Government of India,” according to a media invite sent by the firm.

The 3G handset, Freedom 251, features a 4-inch display, Qualcomm 1.3-GHz quad-core processor and 1 GB RAM, according to details shared by the company.

The Android Lollipop-based handset will have an onboard storage of 8 GB with support for expandable memory of up to 32 GB. It features a 3.2-MP rear and a 0.3-MP front facing camera and a 1,450-mAh battery.

At present, smartphones available in the market are priced around Rs. 1,500. Last year, DataWind had announced that it is teaming up with Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications (RCOM) to launch the world’s most affordable smartphone, priced at Rs. 999. The phone is yet to hit the market.

Established last year, Ringing Bells will start with the assembly of handsets in Phase-I and aims at full indigenous development of the feature-rich smartphones, it said.

It did not disclose any other details about manufacturing, products and pricing.

A new entrant in the Indian mobile phone market, Ringing Bells had launched one of India’s cheapest 4G smartphone at Rs 2,999, recently. It has launched two other feature phones in the market.

India, one of the fastest growing smartphone markets globally, is poised to overtake the U.S. as the second-largest market in next few years.

In the last few months, global smartphone makers, including the likes of Xiaomi, Motorola and Gionee have commenced assembling their handsets in India, where the government is pushing local manufacturing through its Make in India initiative.

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