Monday, 4 July 2016

World’s cheapest smartphone, costing under #1,500, begins shipping this week


The first batch of the world’s cheapest smart phone, costing less than £3 begins shipping next week, the manufacturers said on Thursday
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Ringing Bells Freedom 251 smartphone, which is based on the Android system, is aimed to bring mobile phone ownership to the Indian mass market.

Costing 251 Rupees (£2.79), the manufacturers believe it could transform the Indian market where only one person in 10 has a mobile phone.

The company's chief executive Mohit Goel said the first shipment of about 200,000 handsets was due next week. "Our vision is to make mobile phones more affordable to the millions of poor Indians who do not own one," he added.

Demand for mobile phones is growing rapidly in India with 103 million handsets being sold in 2015, representing a 29 per cent rise on the previous year.

A number of other manufacturers have also entered the market for cheap phones, with devices costing around around £19.

Mr Goel disputed allegations that pressure to keep the phone as cheap as possible was driving wages down, insisting that the company’s staff were fairly paid.

Rival companies have disputed whether the phone, which packs in a surprising amount of sophisticated technology including a built-in camera, can be manufactured at such a low price.

The Indian Cellular Association contacted the Indian minister for telecoms, Ravi Shankar Prasad, to say that it doesn't believe a smartphone could cost less than 2,700 rupees (£27).